Find out more about print, paper and paper packaging sustainability with Martyn Eustace, the passionate and dedicated chairman of Two Sides
This article is about Two Sides, a company that promotes sustainability for paper products. I have talked to Martyn Eustace who is the chairman of Two Sides so you can find out more about paper sustainability and why you should love paper.
I asked Martyn about what he does at Two Sides; he is the chairman there. One of his main responsibilities is that everything is well co-ordinated. He is very proud of the expansion of Two Sides around the world over the last 14 years, and the company's involvement with the Shine School Media Awards. Martyn joined Two Sides in 2008 when there were many myths about sustainability within the printing industry. Two Sides then set out to tell the truth about the paper and printing industry in a straightforward way.
I also asked Martyn about some misconceptions about paper sustainability. Martyn explained some of the most common misunderstandings and myths, this is what he said:
Paper Destroys Forests
"Whilst there are areas of concern, particularly SE Asia where forests are often being illegally cut in order to make pulp and paper. Products resulting from these areas are not allowed entry to the UK or EU where imports have to be from certified and sustainably managed forests.
In South America, the majority of the loss of rainforest has been due to the felling of trees for the expansion of farming. Tropical hardwood trees are not often suitable, in any case, for making paper.
Global warming and increasing forest fires are also destroying more forests in recent years.
Europe’s forests have actually been growing by an area equivalent to 1,500 football pitches every day between 2005 and 2015, the date of the last United Nations FAO, (Food and Agricultural Organisation), survey. So, the story of European deforestation is a definite myth! However, it has been recognised that the replanting of forests has to be done in an environmentally sustainable way, with enough cover and species variation to encourage wildlife and the maximum protection of natural habitat."
Paper Is Not Recycled
"In many surveys which Two Sides carry out across Europe, it is seen that European consumers believe that less than 20% of paper is collected for recycling.
This is another myth as current recycling rates are extremely high in Europe; 72% of all paper and board is recycled with 84% of all paper-based packaging being recycled.
Paper is one of the most recycled products in Europe and very little ends up wasted."
Digital Is Better For The Environment
"How often have you seen statements like, ‘save paper, save trees', or ‘go digital and do your bit for the environment'? Many of these statements are generated by organisations who wish to save money by not printing.
Print is a highly effective communication medium but, of course, not as cheap as an email! But how much better do we learn from a printed book or gain pleasure from a printed brochure, magazine, or newspaper?
When companies encourage people to move away from print, this is often called ‘greenwash’ as there is no information provided on the environmental benefits of switching to digital. Digital is not environmentally ‘free of charge’ and can be very high with an increasing number of the worldwide servers and digital communications infrastructure ‘always on’; consuming an ever-increasing amount of electricity. The environmental impact of the IT industry is higher than that of airlines and steadily increasing.
Given the replanting of European forests and the high recycling rate for paper the use of paper if followed by conscientious recycling, can be environmentally preferable to digital."
I asked Martyn why we should 'love paper'. He said, "We should all love paper as it has many benefits for us. One of the benefits is that when you read from textbooks and write on paper it can deepen your understanding of that topic. Using ebooks does not give you as many benefits as paper does, therefore we should love paper."
Finally, if you want to help out with climate change in an easy, everyday standard, don't worry about your use of paper, try to widen your use of recycling and re-use things more often!