Wednesday, 12 May 2021 10:23 GMT

Environmental misconceptions about print and paper

A new report by Two Sides indicates that the paper industry is subject to environmental misconceptions.

The report sought to gain an understanding of consumers’ perceptions towards print, paper, paper packaging and tissue products.

The not-for-profit organisation has raised issues over ‘green washing’ in the past through its Love Paper campaign, and provides resources and statistics aimed at busting myths surrounding the sustainability of paper and printing.

As the spotlight continues to grow on environmental issues in the UK, the latest research provides an interesting insight into the attitudes towards the print and paper industries.

According to the report, 59% of consumers believe that European forests are shrinking. However, according to Two Sides, European forests grew by the equivalent of 1,500 football pitches a day between 2005 and 2020.

A common misconception about the print and paper industries is that the use of paper is wasteful. This has sparked a trend of encouraging people to “go digital” instead. Two Sides explains that instead, printed products are among the lowest greenhouse gas emitters at 0.8%.

Many consumers believe that European forests are shrinking in size, massively underestimate the paper recycling rate, and do not understand the sustainable nature of paper products

Instead, the ICT industry makes up 2.5-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions with the figure expected to rise to 14% by 2040.

Another misconception the report highlights is recycling rates for paper and paper packaging. The report found that only 17% of consumers believe that over 60% of paper is recycled. The current recycling rate for paper in Europe is 72%, with paper packaging hitting 84%.

Jonathan Tame, managing director of Two Sides Europe, comments: “This report shows there are many environmental misconceptions surrounding print and paper products.

“Many consumers believe that European forests are shrinking in size, massively underestimate the paper recycling rate, and do not understand the sustainable nature of paper products. These misunderstandings make the work we do with Two Sides and Love Paper even more vital.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.