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PAPER TRAIL: The Life and Times of a Woodchip

Year: 1991

Classification: G

Runtime: 51 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Trevor Graham

Produced By: Sharon Connolly

Language: English

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The PAPER TRAIL, which begins in the forests of Australia, travels to Japan's industrial centres and leads to factories, department stores and rubbish dumps from Melbourne to Tokyo.

The first paper was produced some 5,000 years ago; since then its uses have multiplied at a staggering rate. We use twice as much paper as we used 25 years ago, and in another 25 years the world may be consuming three times the amount used today.

Already six million hectares of the world's forests are destroyed each year. Should paper consumption treble, as predicted, more forests will disappear and the environmental costs of paper manufacture will spiral.

But can paper be made without using forest timbers and hazardous chemicals? And need it be consumed and disposed of wastefully? PAPER TRAIL asks whether our growing hunger for paper can be reconciled with protection of our fragile earth and provides positive answers to these questions.