Some Fun History About Paper

In this holiday week, we’ll do a little lighter post than usual and focus on some fun facts about paper. Even with the push to make all things digital, between 1997 and 2011 the world consumption of paper grew by 400% (according to Ecology Global Network).  Seems like the paper industry need not worry about going out of business.

In the USA, the first paper merchant was our beloved founding father Benjamin Franklin.  He was a printer as well as the country’s first Postmaster.  He helped start 18 paper mills in Virginia and surrounding areas.

In 1883, Charles Stillwell of Philadelphia invented a machine to make brown paper bags for grocery shoppers.  Today more than 10 million paper bags are used annually in the US.

Arbor Day was last month but it’s always a good time to celebrate our trees.  To take steps to preserve our 700+ million acres of forestland in the United States, a goal should be not just to recycle all the paper we can, but also to reduce the amount of paper we use in the first place.

Rates of recycling paper are on the rise as well as the recycled content of paper for sale.  On-site shredding services recycle hundreds of thousands of tons of confidential paperwork every year.

For more on shredding and recycling paper, please visit

by HV Shred