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Protecting paper's reputation

Many people believe that the paper industry destroys thousands of trees every year, and that these trees are not replaced. Trees are crucial for the air we breathe, and have inhabited the Earth for millions of years. It is true—large areas of the planet are deforested, and areas the size of multiple football pitches are destroyed. However, what many people do not know is that most of these trees are replanted.

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The Two Sides team, including the international managers, recently came together to present the Power of Print Seminar

Two Sides UK has actively promoted its anti-greenwash campaign, which forces businesses to rethink their message when telling their customers using paper is wrong. I am sure you have had letters from your bank or mobile provider, that they will now do everything digitally to ‘save paper’ and ‘save the trees’, but this is factually incorrect.

Two Sides argue that paper is actually one of the most sustainable materials to print on, because there are big organisations that monitor the production of paper. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the most famous, and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which is a government organisation founded in 1999, are the two most prominent.

Trees are important in tackling the effects of global warming, as they store soaked up carbon and emissions. Europe’s forests store around 80bn tonnes of carbon in their biomass, and this has actually increased by 3bn since 1990. This means that those trees soak up around seven percent of the area’s greenhouse gasses.

Our task is to see that confidence remain and we will continue to actively challenge any organisations that misrepresent the great sustainability story of print on paper

The FSC and PEFC make sure that paper is created sustainably, meaning that forests do not suffer as much as it is believed. Paper even continues to absorb carbon after it has been manufactured and printed on. Two Sides recently conducted a survey to see if consumers still preferred to see print being used, and to change people’s thinking when it came to recycling paper and materials.

Managers of Two Sides from each country, including Europe, North America, South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand came together to discuss the results of the survey. In a statement, Two Sides comments: “Our industry, spanning a wide variety of players including forestry, paper producers, printing, publishing, and postal services, has a terrific record of reducing its environmental impact. 

“As the world awakens to the need for a circular economy, print and paper users everywhere must be reminded about the natural recyclability and renewability of the materials we produce. We are delighted that our surveys reveal continuing consumer preference for print on paper. Our task is to see that confidence remain and we will continue to actively challenge any organisations that misrepresent the great sustainability story of print on paper.”

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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