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The Truth About Print

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 8:00 am by Henningd 1 Comment

BLOG POST DATE: June 18, 2012

The Truth About Print

Originally published by Printing Industries Association, Inc. of Southern California (PIASCA). For more Fact and information go to Thanks to Michelle Jensen for pointing us to this information.

Is print sustainable?

Print is made from paper, a completely renewable resource. Fifty-six percent of all forested land in the United States is privately owned,[1] and nearly all the domestic wood used in the production of paper comes from trees grown on these privately-owned “tree farms”.[2] Print helps give private land owners a financial incentive to grow trees and not sell off their land for other uses. [3] Print helps husband and marshal the perpetuation of forests and forest products.

Does print lead to fewer trees?

In the U.S. about 2/3 of all fiber used to make paper is derived from recycled paper and residue from forest and sawmill operations.[4] In addition, most forests are managed responsibly, and an increasing number of forests are certified by third –party, responsible forest management organizations and government regulatory agencies. Print helps give private landowners a financial incentive to grow trees and not sell off their land for other uses.[5] In the U.S., both the area of land dedicated to growing trees and the amount of timber grown on that land is greater today than it was in the 1950s.[6]

Do the majority of printed products end up in landfills?

Over the past 25 years, the amount of paper and paperboard that is recycled has been steadily increasing from 38.7% in 1993 to 44.5% in 1999 and 63.4% in 2009.[7] In 2008, just 21% of paper (excluding paperboard) accounts for under 13% of the material waste disposal.[8]

Does the production of print cause a lot of pollution?

In 2009, the printing and publishing industry accounted for only 0.29% of total chemicals released by U.S. industry.[9] Many new print technologies are emerging that reduce the use of chemicals, including low or no-chemistry plate development, vegetable based inks and isopropyl-free fountain solutions.

Is e-communication more environmentally friendly than print?

All Communication has an environmental impact. Energy is required to power electronic communication, both to run individual consumer electronics and to power the servers that store electronic information 24/7. The majority of electricity in the U.S. is derived from non –renewable fossil fuels. [10] In contrast, the pulp and paper industry is the largest producer and user of renewable energy sources based on wood, according to the United Nations. [11] In the U.S. about 65% of the energy used to make paper comes from renewable energy sources.[12]

[1] Agricultural Marketing Resource

[2] lbid

[3] Edward L. Glaeser, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, “A roads map for Environmentalism,” Boston Globe, May 21 2007.

[4] EPA Paper FAQ

[5] Glaeser, op, cit.

[6] Smith, W. Brad, tech coord.; Miles Patrick D., data coord.; Perry, Charles H. map coord.; Pugh, Scott A., Data CD coord. 2009. Forest Resources of the United States, 2007 Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-78. Washington, DC; US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office

[7] EPA Office of Solid Waste

[8] lbid

[9] TRI On-site and Off-site Reported Disposed of or Otherwise Released (in pounds), for All Chemicals, By Industry, U.S., 2008.

[10] U.S. Energy Information Administration, Net Generation by Energy Source Total (All Sectors). September 10, 2010

[11] United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Forest Products Annual Review, 2008.

[12] AF&PA, Sustainability Report, 2010

1 Comment on "The Truth About Print"

  1. JW Warren · June 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm · Reply

    Good info thanks for all that. JW

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