Documenting the value of paper

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

If you are interested in what research has to say about the value of paper, don’t miss this recently released report from the American Forest & Paper Association. It provides a terrific review of studies, reports and scholarly articles that show how paper enriches and improves many dimensions of our lives.

vluaepaper1Yes, you may say that they are biased, as all foresters could be considered too, as working the forests is our livelihood and paper is one of the products of our forests.

And, even as the demographic scale tips toward the new generation of digital natives, paper remains an important and essential component of multichannel communication.

Paper informs, creates a permanent record of milestones in life, provides secure documentation, reaches customers and offers a sustainable communication option that no other medium can match.

While the coexistence paper and digital communications continues to evolve, the reasons for choosing paper are as strong as ever … paper offers value that just can’t be beat!

Far too many people believe and repeat the mantra that going paperless or using less paper saves trees and especially the trees of the Rainforest but that is but a mantra and has little to nothing to do with the truth.

First of all we are creating more paper waste, and this is where the problem lies – waste, than ever before since we have gone “paperless” for people want and need paper records and thus print them out, regardless.

E-readers and e-books are being advocated and people flock to buy those but no one, it seems, or at least almost no one, considers the costs of the devices (and the hosting of the e-books) to the environment. E-readers are far from green and never will be green. Paper, on the other hand, especially if sourced from sustainable managed resources, is.

When it comes to saving the tropical Rainforests reducing our use of paper will not make one single iota of a difference as tropical hardwoods are not used and cannot be used in the production of pulp for the making of paper. The wood is simply too hard. Trust me, I am a forester.

Paper can be recycled and other paper and card products can be made from it. More than can be said for e-readers and e-books. That is not to say that I do not like the use of PDFs; I do, but only for electronic transmission of materials that then, as far as I am concerned, are printed out, bound and read like a normal book or such.

The great majority of all pulp for paper production comes from forests that are planted, managed and owned by the paper companies themselves and if it would not be for the fact that they bring an income to those companies those forests simply would not exist. The land would be developed for whatever; housing, industrial estates or whatever, but would not be forests.

In addition to that those companies and their forests proved thousands upon thousands of jobs, in the forests and down the line, and the trees that are cut are replaced at least at a 1:3 ratio, that is to say for every tree felled three new ones are planted.

If you are really interested in the truth you can download “Documenting the Value of Paper: Literature Review” here

© 2013