We may think we’re using less paper than in the past. After all, we’re consuming media online, we think before we print, we opt for digital bills and bank statements. But the digital revolution has also contributed to the growth of the paper and pulp industry.
In our latest podcast, Siemens pulp and paper expert Engelbert Schrapp discusses our changing needs for paper and delves deeper into the environmental impact of opting for plastics over wood-based materials.
Listen to the podcast below, or scroll down to read the highlights of the discussion.
On why the paper industry is still booming
“We might be using less paper in offices and buying fewer newspapers because we’re now reading them online. But you’re ordering more online. The stuff you buy on the internet has to be transported home, and it’s sent in packaging made out of wood fibers. So, that’s one of the key reasons the pulp and paper is a growing industry.”
On the environmental impact of the paper industry
“Nowadays, 95% of the raw material used in the paper industry comes from plantations. Millions and millions of trees would not exist if not for the pulp and paper industry, because no one would be planting millions of trees just for fun. Without the paper industry, the environment would look much worse than it is today.”
On the future of his industry
“One very exciting thing is to hope that in maybe five or six years from today, we will see carbon fibers made out of tree fibers in the market. It will completely revolutionize the industry. First, it will be much cheaper than carbon fibers made out of oil. Second, the raw material will be available beyond the next ten, twenty, thirty years. And finally, it’s a completely sustainable product.”
On the meaning of home
“Travelling is an incredibly important part of my life; it widens your world. Friends often ask me, ‘Engelbert, do you feel German or Swedish?’ I always say that I don’t know, that I feel like a global citizen. I guess your home is where you rest your head, so at the moment my home is here is Sweden.”
At Siemens, Engelbert Schrapp is the corporate account manager for the three leading Fiber Industry customers worldwide. He lives with his wife and two kids in Stockholm. Find out more about working at Siemens.