Submitted by: J.W. Answered by: Phil Riebel 08/17/2013
What about the use of hemp instead of trees?
Good question. I think any fiber is good for making paper as long as it is used in a sustainable way. That means considering its economics, social impacts and environmental impacts. What I do disagree with is that some companies are using misleading environmental marketing to promote the use of alternative fiber over wood, without having factual, peer-reviewed and verifiable scientific evidence to support their claims.
A few things to keep in mind:
- most alternative fibers come from Asia, as well as the products they are used in
- environmental practices in some of the countries are very poor and way below North American standards
- well managed forests offer much more biodiversity and ecosystem services than agricultural crops
It's important to really consider all elements of the life cycle properly...including economics.