Earlier this month Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.
proposed a nationwide “National No Print Day”, to be
held on October 23rd, 2012.
Toshiba claims that our industry has failed “to make the link
between printing waste and its negative impacts on our landfills,
natural resources and the environment.” This is absolutely
untrue. Our industry has long led the way in utilizing sustainable
processes. The primary raw material for printing is paper, which
comes from trees, which are a renewable resource—so renewable
that today our country has 20 percent more trees than it did on
the first Earth Day which was held more than 40 years ago.
There are many other facts that were skipped over in their rush
to make a new buzz item.
Here are just a few:
Beyond the approximately 63% recovery of post consumer paper through
recycling, paper production also owes almost a third of its content
to utilizing sawdust and wood chip “waste” from lumber
mills. Discarded paper product also comprises a lower percentage
of the items in landfills, less than plastics by comparison.
Just 11% of the world’s forests is used for paper (53% for
fuel; 28% for lumber; and 8% for other uses)
Add to that the fact that 90% of the paper consumed in the United
States is produced in the United States, I see no considerable negative
impact to our planet or economy.
Printing Industries of America’s President, Michael Makin
stepped up and brought these facts directly to Toshiba to rebut
their position. While assured the “National No Print Day”
campaign was not directed at the printing industry, they were concerned
how it would be received. After their discussions and backlash from
others in the printing industry, Toshiba agreed to abort the campaign
and in the future do more diligent research.
There are many reasons why I bring this to your attention. Our industry
is under constant attack. Here is a case in point where misinformed
people, even if they had good intentions, can do considerable damage
to an industry which is under enough pressure from many sides. An
industry in which over 1,000,000 rely upon for their livelihoods.
However, a very important lesson here is how a few can influence
many. If Michael Makin hadn’t taken the lead, built a quick
coalition, and attacked this head on, who knows where it could have
led. It is more important than ever that we stay involved with our
associations, contact our leaders with important issues, and correct
the people out there who are spreading misinformation.
While I truly feel that the “National No-Print Day”
was a bad idea on so many levels, it doesn’t mean that we
should not all do our part to control our waste and increase recycling
efforts. There are many small changes we can all make in our companies
and homes that will make a significant difference, not just where
paper is concerned. I’m sure you can find a printed brochure
out there which will list many of them. If not, let me know and
I’ll put one into an envelope, affix a stamp and mail it to
On a LIPCC note, a hearty THANK YOU very much to Brian Baxter as
well as Laurel Stengal and her staff for all the hard work to make
this years LIPCC Golf Outing a great success. We will be finishing
up our fall calendar shortly and at that time update our website
and send out the information to you directly. There are lots of
things changing in our world, and through the LIPCC network, we
are going to try to keep the channels of information open.
Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.