Many people incorrectly believe print is a wasteful practice that is dangerous for our environment. In reality, the print industry is conscientiously pursuing green printing by using bio-renewable inks, recycled paper and energy-efficient equipment.
The print industry has faced a “green push” in recent years that sought to convince communicators that print is bad for our environment. In fact, “going green” became a huge corporate movement that envisioned a paperless work utopia built on digital devices and email.
Most people now realize this movement was more of a drive to save money than a sincere effort to protect our environment. In fact, in one survey, 85% of respondents believed this.
Today, printers and print buyers alike understand that print, when properly used and planned, can be beneficial for our environment. Paper is a true renewable resource. Each year, more trees are planted than are harvested to help sustain the supply of wood and pulp for the paper industry.
Knowing a few key facts can help you print comfortably:
- Most paper in North America is made from sawmill residues and recovered paper.
- Paper can be recycled up to 7 times before the fibers become too short and weak and break down.
- In 2013, 50 million tons (or 63.5% of the paper used in the United States) was recovered for recycling.
- More corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling than any other packaging material, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- In 2015, the United States recovered enough paper for recycling to fill 125 Empire State buildings.