Sustainability: the paper industry

The impact of the production and use of paper on the environment worries many people, companies and organizations. With a growing awareness of environmental pollution and its negative effects, citizens and businesses are more interested in these issues.

The paper industry has a bad reputation but paper makers have made great efforts in recent years to make paper and its production more sustainable.

Cut trees - PCG Barcelona
Common ideas and opinions:

Most of the time it is said that the paper industry pollutes the environment, through its production processes but also because large quantities of paper are used all over the world on a daily basis.

It’s commonly believed that there’s one type of paper that destroys forests because it implies cutting down trees and another type that’s ecological. The reality is much more complex than that.

Many people think that only recycled paper should be used and that the consumption of paper originated from virgin forests must be stopped in order not to exploit them more than they we do now.

Another myth is that electronic communication made on the internet, by emails etc. has no impact on the environment. It is considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to printed products that use paper.

Some people believe that paper plantation forests damage nature because they use a lot of land, deteriorate the soil and are eucalyptus monocultures.

It is also said that because of its energy consumption, paper production leads to important emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere.

To finish some people believe that paper and cardboard are little recycled materials.

These misconceptions sometimes come from raising awareness about issues of protecting the environment, sometimes from online communication services companies that want to damage the image of the Paper and the Printing Industry and sometimes from facts about the industry that are not relevant anymore.

But the paper industry has changed a lot and has tackled pollution problems to reduce its impact on the environment. You can actually know and measure the carbon footprint of any company.

Digital vs paper - PCG Barcelona
Further information:

Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products and one of the most recycled, it can be recycled more than 5 times. But you can not use only recycled paper because the use of paper made from virgin fibers originating from forests managed responsibly is necessary to perform the paper cycle and to recycle it. Virgin pulp and recycled paper are both necessary to obtain recycled paper.

Digital communication means are not necessarily more ecological than paper printed products. Electronic media also have an impact on the environment because they involve the use of servers and electronic equipment that consume a lot of energy. They also include elements and substances that contaminate the environment when badly recycled.

Forest plantations that serve paper production are essential for forest and wood development. The pulp used for paper production is grown in fast-growing plantations. In Europe, for each tree cut there are 3 or 4 trees planted.

Regarding CO2 emissions, most of the energy used for paper production is actually renewable. The paper industry, therefore, has a limited impact on climate change. In addition, it has made significant efforts in recent years to reduce its impact on the environment.

Paper is an essential product for our society, it is used a lot on a daily basis. It has different uses: it serves to transmit knowledge, it’s used for different types of processing but also for domestic uses, daily hygiene and cleaning.

Sky and trees - PCG Barcelona

At PCG, we try to reduce our paper use to the maximum. We limit printings to the minimum necessary to work.

We reuse the prints that we no longer need, and that don’t include any confidential information or personal data such, as scratch paper to take notes, etc.

We also recycle almost all of the paper we use, such as the paper that remains for example after cutting a printed product. We also have an HP printer that prints in eco-friendly latex ink.

Contact with PCG

If you need a personalised quotation or would like our team to provide you with assessment for your projects, please feel free to contact us. We are a team of professionals from the sector that will look after your project from beginning to end.

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