Why we love paper, and why you should too
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Why we love paper, and why you should too details
People love paper.
They like how it feels, its beauty, portability and convenience. It has texture, smell, a vividness of colour and finish and a sensual 'flick factor' that websites and emails cant hope to reproduce.
Printed communications get into the private places in peoples lives in a way that no electronic medium can. A magazine in bed or in the bath, a catalogue on the coffee table. A DM piece on the kitchen bench or a flyer stuck to the fridge.
Its the ability to go with people into their most personal leisure spaced that gives print its unique power as a medium. Get into your customers' intimate zones with beautiful, persuasive, targeted print pieces - and you'll touch them in places a banner ad never will.
Paper and the Environment
There are lots of myths about paper and the environment. The truth is that paper is one of the few truly renewable and recyclable raw materials we have - and today's paper industry is one of the most sustainable in the world.
Wood for papermaking is sourced from tree farms, where far more trees are planted than cut down. The paper industry is one of the biggest users of renewable, low-carbon energy in the world and is leading the way in the development of many other sustainable manufacturing practices. Thanks to continuous research and innovation, its getting cleaner and more resource-efficient all the time.
What's more, the tree farms planted by the paper industry act as vast carbon sinks that help repair the environmental damage caused by other industries.
Paper is often - and mistakenly - blamed for deforestation. In fact, thanks to the paper and timber industries, the world's forested surface is actually increasing by around 340,000 hectares a year.
Tree farms are farms just like any other: the trees are planted, cared for, felled and replanted. It's in the paper industry's interests to cultivate forests that will grow and thrive long-term. So in a well-managed commercial forest, three or four new trees are planted for every tree cut down.
The main reasons for the loss of forests around the world are agriculture and domestic fuel use, which account for around half of all trees felled worldwide.
All Spicers' paper is made from recycled material or pulp from well-managed forests. None of our paper comes from conversation or heritage sources.
Its estimated there are 25% more trees in the developed world today than at the beginning of the 20th Century.
In Europe alone, forests are increasing by an area equivalent to more than 1.5 million football pitches annually.
For every tonne of wood produced by a tree, 1.5 tonnes of carbon are taken out of the atmosphere.
We make choosing paper easy
All Spicers' papers are made from material from well-managed forests or recycled sources, and all our mills conform to high-level environmental management systems. All our products are manufactured using bleaching processes free from elemental chlorine.
That means you can source and paper from Spicers and be sure its environmental credentials are among the very best on the market.
We also have an unrivalled range of recycled papers and product with independent third party certifications, from organisations like the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Environmental Choice New Zealand, EU Flower and Nordic Swan.
Sacrifice a Virgin
It's one of those myths we've grown up with - recycled paper is better for the environment. It's true that some recycled papers are more environmentally friendly than some "virgin" papers. But many virgin-pulp papers have outstanding environmental credentials too.
Whether one paper is better than another largely comes down to the individual practices, energy sources and de-inking processes of the mill or pulp manufacturer making it. The important things to know is whether the mill is operating a high-level environmental management system, like the strict ISO 14001 standard adhered to by all Spicers' mills.
Paper can't be recycled indefinitely because the fibres eventually wear out - so when it comes to papermaking, some virgin sacrifice will always be necessary.
Paper vs Machine
Many people think of emails and websites as having small environmental footprints compared to a physical product like paper. But digital communications wouldn't be possible without computers, which do have significant impacts on the environment.
Computers contain plastics, toxic chemicals and minerals and metals that need to be mined and refined. Much of the vast amount of energy consumed by the consumer electronics sector is fossil fuel-generated. Electronics are the fastest-growing waste stream in the world and disposal of e-waste is a serious environmental issue.
Compare this with the natural sources and sustainable practices of the paper industry, and you see why the print vs digital issue is far from clear-cut environmentally.
The best you can do is plan your campaigns carefully, be as targeted as possible and choose a paper whose environmental credentials you can trust.
New Zealanders recycle and reuse 78% of our waste paper and board, the highest recovery rate for used paper in the world.