I recently was at a 2-day conference for about 500 people where the agenda was distributed on thick A4 sheets. The agenda looked stunning, and as I walked by the entire wall caught my eye of the same agenda in one giant poster.

This made me curious, and I decided to observe what people were doing with their printed agendas.

The keynote was off to a great start followed by a riveting panel discussion. But as people walked out for their coffee, every empty seat had the printed agenda left behind.

As lunch got over, most attendees started asking each other about the next session while standing under the giant poster displayed right behind them. Almost no-one carried the agenda, as the first day ended and I could see the event staff thrash all the agenda in preparation for the next day.

The following day, I sneaked into the back to see the paper paper waste generated at the venue. To see it was overflowing might be an understatement. They were brochures, paper flyers, name badges, coupon codes, and, of course, the agenda sheets lying in the bin.

Entering 2023, we must be infuriated by the callousness of our actions as humans. If this experience doesn’t jolt you, here are some shocking facts about paper usage in the world.

Shocking Facts About Paper Usage Statistics

After chemical (37%), petroleum and coal (22%), paper production is the third-most intensive industry


Pulp and paper industry releases over 100 million kilograms (3rd most) of toxic pollution every year


1 sheet of paper requires 2 to 13 liters of water (depending on the mill)


It takes 1.16 Tress to produce 10,000 A4 sheets of paper


On average, two trees produces enough oxygen for a family of four in one year


1/3rd of municipal waste is paper. While 26% of landfills are filled with paper that is thrashed


Ways to Reduce Paper Usage at Your Event

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