Paperless 2013 Continues to see Backlash

“Go Green.”  We’ve all had that phrase told to us at one point — whether companies suggest you “go green” and use electronic billing or people send emails with captions at the bottom reading “Think before you print.”  ”Going green” by not printing, is truly not saving the environment or trees, it’s simply saving corporations a little ‘green.’

Today, we have more trees than we had 100 years ago.  This is because of the demand for paper.  Tree farmers, like any other other farmer, grow trees based on demand, when demand for trees decreases, so does the need for them to replant and grow trees.  In fact, if the demand decreased enough the people who harvest trees for production purposes (the same group of people who also replant the trees) would be forced to sell the land to developers.  Developers will not be replanting trees like the people in the paper industry do, instead they will be clearing land for housing developments, communities or even industrial sites.  So maybe instead of “thinking before you print” we should be “thinking before we DO NOT print.”

In addition, paper is a renewable resource and every year for the past ten years, the amount of paper recycled has increased.  In fact, 70 percent of direct mail pieces are recycled.

Google’s “Paperless 2013″ campaign is using myth to support it’s marketing campaign to use Google and electronic products and programs over printed material.  ”Going Paperless” is not saving the environment.  Since Google announced its marketing campaign, print leaders have taken strong stands against the campaign and have even spoken out against it directly to Google’s CEO.

Today, the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) will be joining leaders like Print Industries of America and Two Sides in the fight against Google’s marketing campaign.  The letter that the AF&PA will be sending had a bit more of a legal bite to it then the previous letters that have been sent by other industry leaders.  This letter by the AF&PA will call out the coalition for making false and misleading claims to the unfair detriment of paper. This is considered an unacceptable practice by the Federal Trade Commission.

The AF&PA letter will be requesting that the coalition remove the false and misleading statements associated with the Paperless 2013 campaign immediately and, additionally, that they refrain from similar false, unfair and misleading assertions in the future, as required by law.

Once this letter becomes publicly available, we will share it with all of you.

Timothy Freeman


Print & Graphic Communications Association


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