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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Misconceptions of the printing industry: Using paper kills trees.

Print Grows Trees LogoThere are many misconceptions about the printing industry, such as "Using paper kills trees" or "Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print." In the coming weeks I will focus on these misconceptions - and provide facts that prove otherwise.

The first misconception I will be going over is that "Using paper kills trees." According to Print Grows Trees "The primary raw material for paper is trees, which are a renewable resource. The trees in North America used for paper production come from well-managed forests or farms." In fact, believe it or not, today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. (source American Forest & Paper Association.)

Private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is 3-4 times more than they harvest. This gives them the income they need to maintain, renew and manage this valuable forest resource sustainably. Without that income, landowners face economic pressures to convert forest land to other uses, including growing other crops that are more profitable or selling the land for development. In both cases, the forest is removed forever. (source International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees.)

Meanwhile - only 11% of the world's forests are used for paper, (28% is used for lumber, and 53% for fuel.) (source International Paper, Down to Earth Series, "Is it Worth Printing?"/Choose Print)

By providing a market for responsibly grown wood fiber, the U.S. paper industry encourages forest land owners to continue managing their lands rather than selling them for development or other non-forest uses. This is an especially important consideration in facing economic pressure to convert forest land to non-forest uses. (source Two Sides US)

In 2010, nearly 45 million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered, a recycling rate of over 63%. (Source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) In 2012, that rate had increased to over 65% (source American Forest & Paper Association.)

Want to find out more about this topic? Here are a few more resources to visit and learn from:


Paper Because - "Paper is a sustainable, renewable, recyclable, plant-based product that connects us in so many ways to the important things in life."

The Paper Life Cycle - "Promotes a wider understanding and positive action around the key environmental issues affecting the life cycle of paper."

Paper Recycles - "Recycling increases energy efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes sustainable forestry practices."

SGP (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership)"Print plays a vital role in the graphic communications industry. and sustainable business practices ensure continued viability and growth."

Two Sides - "Our mission is to help people gain a better understanding of why print and paper is a versatile and sustainable communications medium. We strive to be balanced, reflecting views which may not always be those of Two Sides and its members." Phil Riebel - President - Two Sides U.S.

Portions of this blog have been sourced from "The Value of Print" by the Printing Industries of America.

Movad is happy to provide you with this information - stay tuned to our blog in the coming weeks as we disprove additional misconceptions about the Print Industry.

Mario Lima is the Director of Social Media, and Design Department Manager for Movad - Mailing, Offset, Variable and Design. Mario has been involved in the printing industry since the early 1990s leading pre-press and design departments for Printers, Service Bureaus and Trade Show Exhibit Companies. When he's not geeking on the latest and greatest in graphic design and marketing, he can be found geeking it up with video or board gaming, making music, or playing with his Italian Greyhounds, Ghost and Roxy.