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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


Recycled Paper

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  • This article highlights the role of paper recycling as a climate solution, focusing on the carbon dioxide released by the production of recycled paper versus the production of conventional, or virgin, paper.
  • Students will learn about the processes used to produce both recycled and conventional paper, the energy and greenhouse gas emissions released during both processes, the financial implications of this climate solution, and predictions about global paper production and consumption.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource provides a "What You Can Do" section that details some practical ideas for students to take action.
  • The article is organized like a brief scientific paper, which can help increase comprehension.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Preview this resource for vocabulary that is essential to understanding and might also require pre-teaching, such as gigaton, sequester, mitigation, or hydropulping.
  • It may be helpful for students to have familiarity with the format of a scientific paper.


  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore this table of solutions or other related solutions listed below the article, choosing another solution for comparison.
  • As an extension activity, ask students to connect with community organizations to ensure that they are recycling paper and see what supports they need to get started if they are not.
  • Using the links provided within this resource, give students the opportunity to compare the recycling of other materials, including metals and plastics.
  • Compare the research results presented in this resource with information about the effectiveness of recycling plastics and other materials, as discussed in this podcast, which explores whether recycling certain items is effective or counterproductive.
  • Pair students up to have them discuss what role electronic media might play in the future of the paper industry, using reasons and evidence to support opinions.
  • Consider having students participate in an activity where they learn about paper recycling by using old paper to make new seed paper.
Scientist Notes
In this article, the impacts of paper production on greenhouse gas emissions is discussed. The study examines how recycling different amounts of paper products will help the climate. The financial aspect of these changes is also briefly discussed. The article is organized similar a scientific paper in the way it breaks down this climate solution into an introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. These make this resource a good example of how scientific articles are often structured. Resources are included. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.10.9-12 Use current data to explain the influence of changes in spending, production, and the money supply on various economic conditions.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.5 Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
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