North American Tissue News

New film shines light on the US paper and packaging industry’s legacy of innovation and environmental stewardship

Through intimate stories of mill workers and paper science and engineering professionals, “Paper Makers” explores the story of an industry that’s worked in tandem with nature for years.

McLean, VA, Sept. 09, 2020 (PRESS RELEASE) — Debuting today, a new documentary gives an inside look at the U.S. paper and packaging industry’s decades-long legacy of environmental stewardship. A story of grit, passion and dedication, “Paper Makers” provides a rare and intimate insight into how the industry’s foresters, mill workers and engineers have cared for the land, working in tandem with nature for generations. In a critical decade for climate action, “Paper Makers” looks at the philosophy and practices that have made the U.S. paper and packaging industry a vocal advocate for responsible land management, sustainable design and the protection of our planet’s most valuable resources.

Paper is at the forefront of environmentally friendly innovation with top brands and corporations across personal care, food and beverage, and fashion, making the switch to paper packaging as part of their sustainable business strategies. There’s new attention on paper-based materials to provide solutions for some of society’s biggest environmental challenges. But how did the industry get here?

“For generations, our mill workers and foresters have protected the natural resources they’re charged with. The industry gives back more than it takes and helps manage forests and the ecosystems that depend on them,” said Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board. “Trees are our planet’s only fully renewable resource. The paper and packaging industry’s environmental practices are inherently designed to protect and cultivate this vital circular system. Telling that story through the eyes of industry workers — folks who are truly the vanguards of environmental stewardship — is really important for people to understand.”

“Paper Makers” offers an intimate look at one of America’s oldest natural industries through the eyes of the workers who cultivate the sustainable forests it depends on and develop technologies that will nurture and protect them for years to come. The film aims to educate packaging designers, environmental engineers and business leaders on how paper can help them design the sustainable solutions of tomorrow and show consumers why paper can be a sustainable choice for the planet.

The film unearths little-known facts about how the industry works to conserve and regenerate important resources and pass sustainable practices from generation to generation:

  • The paper and packaging industry helps make cleaner air by planting roughly twice as much  wood as it harvests every year.
  • The industry is, in many cases, self-sufficient, making ⅔ of its power from non-fossil-fuel sources and even producing enough to send power back to the grid.
  • Fibers are reused multiple times and recycled to make new products. Paper is one of the most recycled materials on the planet, at a rate of 66.2% per year.

Want to check out the film? Visit to watch the film and follow @HowLifeUnfolds on Instagram for more information.

About the Paper and Packaging Board

The Paper and Packaging Board promotes the use of paper products and paper-based packaging by highlighting the value they bring to our daily lives. More than 40 U.S. manufacturers and importers collectively fund the national marketing campaign, Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds®.

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