The colour of print is green! Why print on paper is an environmentally friendly choice

The environmentally friendly choice

Ever found yourself up against a wall having to defend the use of poster, brochure and stationery printing as an environmentally friendly choice? There are a whole load of myths and misconceptions about print on paper. In fact, it is often the best recyclable and sustainable choice.

Two Sides

Two Sides is a non-profit organisation working to promote a better understanding of the environmental issues that matter most to printers and their clients. They help debunk some of the worst eco-myths about printing on paper. 

Myth One: Paper is bad for the environment

Not true! Paper is made from wood which is renewable and good for the environment. In Europe, forest certification ensures that forests are well managed to increase in size and sustainability. Two Sides quotes EEA, The European Environment – State and Outlook (2015) who state that “Europe’s forests … absorb around 7% of the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the region.”

Myth Two: You should only use recycled paper

False! Without so-called ‘virgin fibres’ from new trees, the whole paper cycle would fail. That’s because recycled fibres do not last forever, and fresh wood fibre is needed to keep the cycle going. According to Two Sides, Europe leads the way when it comes to paper recycling. Items such as newsprint and packaging often use up to 100% recycled matter. Finer grade papers incorporate new fibres which go on to reinvigorate the whole recycling process.

Myth Three: Electronic communications are always better

We are constantly encouraged to go paperless and save trees, but what are the facts? Surely digital communications have an environmental impact too? The digital industry creates an ongoing global demand for electricity causing huge emissions. In 2014 Greenpeace declared that “compared with the electricity demand of countries in the same year, the [digital] cloud would rank 6th in the world, with demand expected to increase 63% by 2020.” That’s not even taking into account the millions of tonnes of e-waste produced by discarded phones, tablets and laptops. If we are talking about carbon footprint, we need to be honest that digital has one too.

It’s a colourful world

The next time someone tells you that they think print on paper is a bad thing remember to tell them the paper you use is made from wood from sustainable forests. Say that you sometimes use virgin fibres because they are needed to keep the recycling process going. And, make sure you encourage your critics to recycle their own paper waste if they want to make a difference to the environment.
Once you have got everyone on the same page, give us a call and let us know how we can help with your commercial printing from brochure printing to letterhead printing, all your print and paper needs. We care about the environment too. PrintUK.com