Results of a new survey conducted by Toluna Inc. show that a majority of Americans want to retain a choice for paper options rather than be forced into “digital-only” communications.
Chicago, July 21, 2016 – A new survey commissioned by Two Sides and conducted by Toluna Inc. reveals how U.S. consumers view corporate initiatives forcing people into digital-only communication by eliminating paper-based options. The survey also provides insight into consumer opinions on the environmental impacts of digital versus paper-based communications.
Results indicate that many consumers want to retain the choice of receiving paper bills and statements at no additional cost. For example, 79% of respondents want the option to continue receiving printed information as it provides a more permanent record, and 77% would be unhappy if they were asked to pay a premium for paper bills and statements. Other key factors in retaining paper options were ease of reading on paper compared to a screen (79% prefer paper) and unreliable internet access (49%).
Many respondents (85%) agreed that cost-saving is the main reason why companies use environmental claims such as, “Go Paperless – Go Green”, or “Go Paperless – Save trees”. In addition, 57% of respondents reported that they question the validity of such claims.
Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America notes, “Our results suggest that the environmental acceptance for print and paper is improving. For example, 88% of respondents agreed that when forests are responsibly managed it is environmentally acceptable to use trees to produce products such as wood for construction and paper for printing. This is good news for the graphic communications and forest products industries.” A large majority of respondents (91%) agreed that print and paper can be a sustainable way to communicate when responsibly produced and used. This is an increase of 19% when compared to results obtained in a 2013 Two Sides survey.
More education is needed to raise awareness about the industry’s positive environmental activities, in particular its commitment to sustainable forest management and recycling. Despite U.S. forests growing dramatically in volume in the past 60 years (58% growth) and 3% in area, 55% of respondents believe that U.S. forests have decreased in size. The majority of respondents also did not know that paper is one of the most recycled products in the U.S. with recovery rates of over 66%.
Compared to results obtained in 2013, almost three times more respondents reported seeing ads related to the effectiveness and sustainability of print and paper (35% in 2016 vs 12% in 2013), and the large majority rated the ads as credible and useful.
The full U.S. survey report can be downloaded at: http://www.twosidesna.org/US/The-Attractiveness-and-Sustainability-of-Print-and-Paper--The-US.-Consumers-view
“Go paperless – go green” claims are questioned by many
Print and paper are seen as sustainable when responsibly produced but concerns about forestry persist
Many need a paper option and don’t want to be forced into a “digital only” situation
Home printing continues
Forest growth in the U.S. is misunderstood
U.S. forests have increased by 58% in wood volume and 3% in area over the past 60 years (USDA Forest Service, 2012).
The great recycling story of print and paper is not well known
The current recovery rate for paper products in the U.S. is 66.8% (American Forest & Paper Association, 2016).
More people are seeing ads promoting print and paper
Over 35% of respondents indicated that they have seen ads promoting the effectiveness or environmental friendliness of print and paper. This is almost 3 times more respondents than in our 2013 survey (12%), and the large majority rated the ads as credible and useful.
About Two Sides
Two Sides is an independent, nonprofit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Two Sides is active globally in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Colombia. Our members span the entire print and paper value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, inks and chemicals, pre-press, press, finishing, publishing, printing, envelopes and postal operators. For more information about Two Sides North America, please contact us at 1-855-896-7433 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Two Sides website at www.twosidesna.org and follow Two Sides on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.