How sustainable are newspapers? We find out

News print considered environmentally-friendly and sustainable (photo: Shutterstock)News print considered environmentally-friendly and sustainable (photo: Shutterstock)
News print considered environmentally-friendly and sustainable (photo: Shutterstock)

Environmental sustainability and saving the planet will be hot topics at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow.

Leaders from across the globe will be spelling out their plans to cut down on harmful emissions and how they can secure global net zero emissions by mid-century.

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One burning issue print media titles across the country will be asking themselves is: “How environmentally-friendly are printed titles?”

Newsprint, used by media publishers, is uncoated paper, made out of mechanical pulp or waste paper, which is used to produce newspapers.

Nowadays people realise that newspapers are not responsible for rainforest depletion. The hardwoods from tropical rainforests are simply not suitable for newsprint production.

Newsprint is an environmentally sound, renewable resource which comes from managed softwood coniferous forests, mainly in North America and Europe.

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Two Sides is a global campaign to raise awareness of the sustainability of paper.

A recent study by Two Sides shows that while paper retains its place as vital for communication and packaging materials, there remain misconceptions about the environmental impact of the paper industry.

For example, consumers are not aware that European forests are growing.

The study found that between 2005 and 2020, European forests grew by 58,390km2 – an area larger than Switzerland and equivalent to 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day.

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Journalism is a powerful tool to raise awareness of climate change issues and campaign for change.

Throughout the pandemic newspapers kept people informed of vital environmental issues and what was going on in the world around them at both local and national level.

Journalism is vital in tackling climate crisis and holding Government and corporations accountable for their own emissions.

According to News Media Association, the print industry has a voluntary agreement with the government on the recycled content of UK newspapers. In 1991, the UK publishers set a target of achieving 40 per cent recycled content in newspapers by the year 2000. The industry met this target four years ahead of schedule.

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