July 2012 Newsletter • Co-Chairs' Corner

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 you.

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.

Lorraine Castellano,
Postal Co-Chair
Adam Avrick,
Industry Co-Chair