Two Sides releases new set of fact sheets

UK-based print and paper advocacy group Two Sides has released a set of five new fact sheets to shed light on the misconceptions of print and paper.

10 Jun 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

Two Sides has released a set of five new fact sheets to shed light on the misconceptions of print and paper

According to Two Sides, print and paper is a highly sustainable form of communication in today’s digital society. "Despite this, there are still misconceptions that it is wasteful, detrimental to the environment and responsible for deforestation. More worrying is the misunderstanding that digital communication is more environmentally friendly, which is not always the case," it stated.

To address these misconceptions, and to better inform and educate consumers, businesses and the public at large, Two Sides has published a series of fact sheets to address a wide array of environmental and social issues.

The comprehensive fact sheets cover the most common areas of misunderstanding, ranging from the real environmental impact of electronic communication, to the sustainability of paper-based printed products, as well as tackling the important role that print and paper plays in literacy and learning.

One of the fact sheets sheds light on the misconceptions pertaining to paper recovery and recycling. It states that paper is one of the most recycled of all materials. Most of this is utilised within the paper industry where it is an essential raw material, particularly for packaging and newsprint.

"Recycling paper is the most eco-efficient waste management option and the use of recycled fibre complements the need for virgin wood fibre to meet societal demands for paper and board products," it added.

With respect to the paper production and sustainable forests, it stated that the paper industry depends on, and promotes, sustainable forest management to provide a reliable supply of wood fibre, the key raw material for its products.

Highlighting the WWF's Living Forests Report, 2012, it stated, "Well-managed forests bring multiple benefits for society, such as livelihoods, ecosystem services and biodiversity."

Shedding light on the renewable energy and carbon footprint of the industry, it mentioned, "The pulp, paper and print industry is relatively energy intensive. However, it also has a proven commitment to energy efficiency and is one of the biggest industrial users of renewable energy. This explains why the sector is responsible for comparatively low greenhouse gas emissions."

Meanwhile, on paper's water footprint front, it mentioned that the pulp and paper industry is aware of the importance of efficient and sustainable use of natural resources; including water. "Most paper production takes place in locations with low water stress and, while large volumes of water are used, 93% of this is returned to the environment after extensive treatment."

One of the fact sheets also touched upon the advantages of using paper bags over plastic counterparts. "There is increasing concern about the over-use of plastic bags and particularly their contribution to marine litter... Whilst a general reduction in unnecessary packaging will be a valuable contribution to a circular and less wasteful economy, paper bags, because of their natural and renewable attributes, present an attractive and practical alternative." "Studies show that they can be the natural and environmental alternative to plastic and textile bags," it added.

The detailed fact sheets can be downloaded from the Two Sides website. Apart from the latest fact sheets, the website has also linked its previous fact sheets in its website. The Two Sides website also contains necessary information regarding the myths and facts pertaining to the print and paper industry.

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