In chemistry, Lavoisier let a famous french sentence: "Rien ne se perd rien ne se crée, tout se transofrme". Ideend, atoms never disappear in chemistry. It is their electrons that play around with other atoms to break and recreate molecules, which requires or generates various amounts of energies;
So at our scale, it looks like humans and the earth constantly produce and destroy, and the more he consumes energy, the more he changes molecules. But energy is expensive in terms of financial cost, and carbon rates involved, and while not hard to produce, it is hard to store and produce exactly what is being consumed.
It is then esential to minimise the energy consumption through a direct recycling or reuse of our wastes instead of burning or burying them thinking this is not lost anyway.
In the case of papers, according to Canopy Sources it takes half of the water and 2/3rd of the energy to reproduce a recycled paper than to produce a paper made of virgin fibers. You can save 22 trees when producing 1 ton of recycled paper and you will not have to bury or burn paper wastes.
Thus, if paper has to be be produced through sustainble life-cycles, there are many other condictions involved, anddevelopping optimized recycling process, programs and consumers involvments are definitely essential for Sustainbale hardware products life-cycles.