Paper companies don't want us to go paper-free


Paper companies don't want us to go paper-free

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

A handful of companies offering online business services want you to reduce your environmental impact by resolving to use less paper in 2013 and doing more of your work in the "cloud." However, a trade group representing the graphics supply chain is raising objections to this idea.

Seven companies offering Internet services such as bill management, faxing, accounting and others have formed the Paperless Coalition to encourage people to use less paper and, instead, do more work online. That online work, colloquially known as cloud computing, is the growing use of data storage and services on the Internet rather than on one's personal computing device. As part of its pitch, the coalition cites numbers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that puts the amount of paper used by the average office worker at 10,000 sheets annually.

"If you're up for saving time, money and trees, going paperless might be a good goal for you in 2013," reads a blog post from Google Drive, the search giant's cloud storage and document service, encouraging office workers to use more online products that will help them live in a "paper-free world."

But not everyone is enthusiastic about living in a paper-free world, namely Two Sides, a trade association representing the graphic communications supply chain. In an open letter to Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, the group questions the claims by the coalition that using cloud services instead of paper is more environmentally sound.

"While the products and services delivered by Google are to be admired, this new initiative is clearly another example of a self-interested organization using an environmentally-focused marketing campaign to promote its services while ignoring its own impact upon the environment," reads the letter.

Specifically, the letter cites the large amounts of energy Google requires to provide its services and all the energy consumers use to access them. The letter also raises the issue of all the e-scrap being generated by people using more electronics. Additionally, it states that paper can be a sustainably managed and in many instances can be a more environmentally-friendly option.

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paper industry arguements

The arguements sited by the paper industry are feeble at best. Yes e waste is an issue, but people are not going to NOT use computers because they are using paper. The two are not linked. Talk about "self interest"! That is what they accuse google of because of the launch of paperless world.