There are a lot of myths out there about the print industry and its impact on the environment; people tend to think printing = paper = waste – and that’s just not the case!
Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products that exist, and with a vested interest in the survival and continued use of paper products, the print industry is one of the most environmentally conscious you can find.
So let’s break down some of those misconceptions:
Making paper hurts the environment
Not the case! Plantation forests for paper production are fully renewable and sustainable resources. The carbon footprint of the industry is also far lower than often thought, with many sustainably managed forests able to be quite carbon neutral by balancing logging and manufacturing with planting and regrowth. These forests also provide massive carbon storage (estimated at 1 billion tonnes per annum globally), as well as clean air and wildlife habitats.
The paper industry destroys forests
If you thought this was true, think again! The demand for paper products has actually resulted in the development of sustainable forests, that is, managed forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled. In fact, there are 25% more trees in the developed world today than in 1900, with the paper industry planting roughly four times as many trees as they harvest from sustainable forests. Paper of traceable origin from protected forests like these have become an industry expectation for Australian printers that we at Progress Printing are proud to meet.
Print and paper just generate waste
False. Did you know paper is recycled more than any other household item? In fact, 95% of Australian households recycle or reuse their paper products. The industry is a leading recycler, with 66% of Australian print and paper waste products able to be recovered and recycled, and this rate only expected to increase.
Going “paperless” = Going green
Switching out your print and paper products for e-resources may not be as environmentally friendly as you think. Electronic waste is now the fastest growing contributor to the municipal waste stream. In Australia alone, over 234 million items of e-waste end up in landfill each year, with recycling programs for electronics far less available than for print and paper. In terms of carbon impact, reading a newspaper can consume 20% less carbon than viewing it online.
At Progress Printing, we’re serious about sustainability. We understand that the future of our industry relies on us taking care of our environment and standing by renewable practices.
That’s why we’re incredibly proud to have recently attained out ISO certification for Environment. Over 90% of our paper is either recycled, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) accredited, meaning it is sourced from sustainable forests or plantations. Make sure your print supplier has environmental sustainability at the forefront of their operations and get printing!
You can read more about our environmental certifications online.
Print and Paper Myths and Facts, TwoSides