Common Forestry Myths Debunked

Submitted by: Two Sides Australia 20/03/2018

In celebration of International Forest Day, we’re bringing you the two sides of paper!

Ever catch yourself thinking ‘making paper destroys forests’, ‘planted forests are bad for the environment’, or ‘only recycled paper should be used’? Think again as we debunk some of the most common forestry myths.

Myth – Making paper destroys forests:

In Australia and Northern Europe, paper comes from managed regrowth forests or planted forests where the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting is carefully controlled. Australia alone has two million hectares of working forests and growing. That equates to over 1,000,000 MCG’s in land area covered! In New Zealand, paper production is 100% planted forestry crops, no native harvesting exists. 

Myth – Planted forests are bad for the environment:

Forests are essential for the transition to a green economy. Well-managed planted forests are a vital element in the global forestry mix. For starters, they create ‘Shelterbelts’. The benefit of a shelter to the environment have long been recognised and include protection of crops, livestock and the home, reduction of soil erosion, salinity control and biodiversity improvements. In addition, they are more productive and grow faster than natural forests, can be independently certified, can provide new recreational facilities, and contribute to rural development and employment.

Myth – Only recycled paper should be used:

The Paper Cycle cannot begin without new fibre from trees. Recycled fibres degrade after several uses and the paper industry needs fresh fibre from responsibly managed forests to keep the renewable cycle going.

In choosing your paper, you must consider its full life cycle and not just the fibre source. It’s important to remember that virgin fibre is always required to make recycled paper possible in the first place.

As you can see, there are two sides to paper. Paper is from renewable resources, recyclable and produced by an environmentally-conscious industry whose future depends on planting more trees than it consumes and is progressively improving standards in the whole supply chain.


Share these debunked myths with friends and be sure to use the hashtag #PaperFacts to keep the conversation going.

For further information on the two sides of paper, visit the


Department of Environment and Primary Industries, 2014