Will the day ever come when the sustainability of print and paper will be accepted without question? Probably not.
But that doesn’t mean that challenging misconceptions will remain a fruitless fight, something that this issue’s interviewee, Martyn Eustace, is passionate about.
He takes pride in being a thorn in the side of those companies that make the kind of spurious claims that imply that using less print will save countless hectares of Amazonian rainforest, rather than the slightly more factual statement that it will, at best, ease the strain on the company’s print budget and, at worst, pass on the cost burden of printing the document on to the consumer.
But the challenge is getting the message across about print and paper’s virtues in a positive light.
There was a time when some felt the best way to defend print was to attack electronic communications; perhaps by citing the environmental cost of the insatiable energy appetite of server farms or the carnage caused in some poorer countries due to mountains of electronic waste being dumped by richer ones.
But that was a losing battle because nobody, printers included, can live without their devices anymore – just think of the wave of horror that washes over you when you briefly think you’ve lost your smartphone or the battery indicator turns red without a charger in sight. The bond between humans and screens is unbreakable.
And that’s why we should focus on the positive sustainability story of print and paper and its provable impact.
People buy into positivity, because positivity sells – just like print.