Puzzling Decline in Demand for Forest Product Innovation

By Sophia Christou, 12/17/17

Why is wood product demand declining, yet forests and the forestry industry are the one thing that holds the key to reversing global warming due to wood's carbon sequestration properties? We are increasingly substituting goods with plastic due to its cheap nature, regardless of the damaging effect plastics have on our environment during the production processes, and regardless of the damaging effect plastics have on the environment post-use.

Row Boat in a Sea of Plastic Trash
Row Boat in Sea of Plastic//Stephen Codrington//Wikipedia

This decline in forestry product demand, despite a growing attention to sustainable forest management and the bio-economy expecting to increase forest innovation, is leaving industry experts concerned.

Wood products can now be innovated into lighter, more flexible material than plastic. Take for example the work being done at University of Toronto, whose forestry faculty is designing wooden car parts.

Car part moulded from wood pulp that is lighter, stronger, and heat resistant//Laura Pedersen//National Post

Why, then, are we substituting harmful plastic composites for natural wood products?

We must once again learn to put our faith in wood, because if people aren't supporting forestry products, then we lose the forest.

By Sophia Christou, 12/17/17


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