Letter: Forests of paper

Sir: Charlie Trousdell (letter, 16 December) is right when he suggests that it may be better to home-compost some paper and card rather than recycle them. However, we would suggest that this only applies to a very small percentage of paper (for example, paper contaminated by food).

Research by the US Environmental Protection Agency and research for the European Commission clearly shows that recycling of paper is a good environmental option, especially when compared with incineration or landfill. Recycling paper is not only better in terms of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, because making paper from trees is more energy-intensive than recycling, but it also reduces the pressure on forests. Wildlife-rich forests are being felled and being replaced with-wildlife poor intensive industrial forests to supply our demand for more and more paper.

If we want to protect biodiversity we need to reduce paper consumption and increase recycling. Buying recycled paper, recycling your Independent and recycling your Christmas wrapping paper would be a good start.

Mike Childs

Waste Campaigner

Georgina Green

Forests Campaigner

Friends of the Earth

London N1