Approximately 400 million metric tons of paper is produced and consumed globally each year. Current usage demands are just over 2 pieces of paper per hour per person, for each person on Earth. As many have noted the “paperless” office uses as much, if not more paper than before the advent of computers, but paper is more than just office supplies. Paper bags, packaging, gift wrap, paper towels, labels, newspapers, coloring books, candy wrappers, and magazines – the modern world is full of paper. Even money is made of paper.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) compiles an annual report on international Pulp and Paper Capacities. The inclusive data sets are from self-reporting surveys of pulp and paper production capacities within 30 participating countries* representing 85% of the world’s paper production capabilities. Category breakdowns for products across the spectrum are included.

China and Hungary were the only two countries to report producing paper pulp from straw (0.190, and 3.028 million metric tons respectively). While five countries contributed to the 1.287 million metric tons of “bagasse pulp” produced in 2015. Bagasse is the name for crushed sugar cane used to make paper pulp. The FAO report includes statistics on types of papers such as global production totals for fluting paper, the stuff used to make the ridges inside corrugated cardboard. There are three categories of fluting paper, actually and packaging materials comprise some 55% of the industry.

What Countries Make the Most Paper?

Statistics available for paper and paperboard production show the top 10 paper producing countries in the world. The top ten countries for total paper production rank as follows:

1. China
2. United States of America
3. Japan
4. Germany
5. Republic of Korea
6. Brazil
7. Finland
8. Canada
9. Sweden
10. Italy


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