Paper & The Environment: Good Choice, or Not?

At a time when the impact of human life on earth has on our environment has become undeniable, people all over the world are trying to find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Every choice we make as consumers has a far-reaching effect on the ways that large corporations choose to conduct their business, and forward-thinking individuals are taking care to make these choices based on tangible scientific evidence.

Yet, there seems to be quite a disparity between the perception of the impact that the production of certain materials have on the environment, and the true state of affairs. Take the paper industry, for instance. Here are a few myths surrounding paper products that have been debunked by independent studies conducted by the Two Sides initiative in Europe:


Paper Production Causes Deforestation

According to the perception of 60% of the respondents that were interviewed throughout the course of the study, European forests are shrinking due to an increase in the demand for paper products the world over. However, the truth is that due to the replanting rate supported by industry roleplayers, these forests are in fact growing at the rate of 1,500 football pitches every day.

Paper Recycling Rates are Too Low to Be Effective

Although most consumers stated that they believe paper to be one of the materials with the highest recycling rates, only a fifth of respondents stated that they believe this rate to be over 60%. Happily, the true rate of paper recycling actually stands at 72% and more!

Print Is Dead; People Prefer Digital

Although there is a general perception that consumers are more inclined to receive company communications via digital avenues these days, it turns out that 78% of the individuals who were interviewed believed they should the right to choose whether they received printed or digital communication, and 62% stated that they do not believe it is fair to charge more for printed missives.

There you have it – an illuminating look at the true statistics on paper production in Europe. Similar trends are true in South Africa, and as recycling becomes the norm, the impact of the paper and printing industry on the environment at large will only become more manageable. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months for more interesting info. In the meantime, we invite you to get in touch with an Asset Print representative to learn more about our processes and services.

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