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Nottingham, NG5 1AH
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Print & Paper
- a sustainable industry

There are many myths about print and paper.  Here are some of them:

Myth:   Making paper destroys forests
Fact:   Paper production supports sustainable forest management

European forests have grown by over 30% since 1950 and are increasing by 1.5 million football pitches every year – an area four times the size of London! (Source: UNECE, FAO, The Development of Forest Resources, 1950 to 2000 and Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) forest factsheet, July 2008)

Myth:   Making paper is bad for the environment
Fact:    Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products

Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material, and as young trees grow they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Furthermore, as a wood product, paper also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime.

Myth:   Making paper consumes a lot of energy
Fact:   But most of it is renewable energy

On average it takes 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to produce 200kg of paper, the average amount of paper that each of us consume each year.  The paper industry is one of the biggest users of renewable, low carbon energy and over half the energy used to make paper in Europe comes from renewable sources. (Source: CEPI, Forest Fact Sheet, 2008)

Myth:   Paper has a high carbon footprint
Fact:   It’s not as high as you think

Industry research indicates that mail comprises 0.1% of total household CO2 emissions in Europe.  The 14kg of CO2 emitted is the equivalent of:

  • One 70km car journey
  • Five cheeseburgers
  • Nine litres of milk
  • 6.6 minutes of transatlantic flight

(Source: EMIP, The Facts Of Our Value Chain, 2008)

Myth:   Harvesting new trees to make paper is bad
Fact:   Sustainable forest management benefits people and the planet

Without new fibres, from new trees, the paper cycle can not begin. Recycled fibres degrade after several uses and new fibres are always needed.

Myth:   Print and paper is a wasteful product
Fact:   Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world

The European recycling rates for paper reached 69% in 2010.  The latest UK figures are 79%. (Source: European Declaration on Paper Recycling 2006-2010, Monitoring Report 2010 and UK Confederation of Paper Industries, 2012)

Myth:   Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print and paper
Fact:   Not necessarily.  E-media also has environmental impacts

‘With a reading time of 30 minutes per day the environmental impact of a web based newspaper is, in general, in the same range as a printed newspaper’s environmental impact.’ (Source: Moberg A, et al, 2007 and Arnfalk P. 2010)

What is your e-impact on the environment?  Click here to take a simple test and discover for yourself what effect your internet usage is having on the environment.

If you have any questions, call 0800 597 5980 or email us at

The myths and facts above come from Two Sides, an organisation which is committed to promote the responsible production and use of print and paper.  For more information, visit