A sustainable future for paper and print

After a challenging year, Denmaur’s Danny Doogan charts a way forward for the print sector.

By Danny Doogan

A sustainable future for paper and print
Photograph: Bank Phrom on Unsplash.

The pandemic has taken its toll on print and publishing with title closures, job redundancies, company closures and, moreover, the tragic loss of individuals who worked within in our industry.

Print alone in the last year has had to endure the loss of some magazines that have switched to solely electronic copy for the duration. In some cases, print run figures, editorial and content simply aren’t sufficient at present to warrant the normal frequencies, paginations and circulations associated with print - on top of which, the ability to go out and buy a magazine has been restricted.

That said, the graphical paper industry has adjusted to ensure that those who continue to operate can do so on a ‘business as usual’ basis. Mills are still manufacturing, even though there have been one or two headline closures in 2020.

Price and quality have traditionally been the driving factor when it comes to choosing a paper grade. That remains the case, except that sustainability has emerged as a third factor, and it has become the most important factor. Sustainability awareness has escalated in recent years and it is definitely higher on the social and economic agenda as we journey back to normality.

There are two areas of print and publishing sustainability that are likely to become significant features this year.

As a business or as a product, carbon offsetting is beginning to gain more traction as an additional step towards reducing environmental footprints. Carbon Balanced Paper is an example of an offsetting scheme that is already established in paper and print, providing a means of demonstrating a powerful sustainability message through printed media. Offsetting, or balancing schemes, come with registered logos and official certificates that will endorse your offsetting actions whilst enhancing your sustainability profile.

Paper wrap, although not entirely new, is the latest trend for newsstand and mailed magazines. Plastic legislation is imminent, and combined with the adverse publicity relating to single-use plastic in recent years, paper wrap will reduce your reputational and sustainability risk. Paper is made from a natural and renewable resource, and as long as it’s not lined with a plastic coating, it is completely recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. Paper wrap products are developing, making use of lower opaque paper weights to carry additional advertising; they are robust and water resistant to endure the mailing process for a variety of magazine and catalogue formats.

Don’t give up on paper and print, it won’t give up on you - as demonstrated by many throughout this dreadful period. Also, in paper fibre, we have a product that by association makes us more sustainable and will position our industry as a good fit for the circular economy.

Keep safe and keep printing.

Carbon offsetting is beginning to gain more traction as an additional step towards reducing environmental footprints.

"...one of the leading specialist paper suppliers in the UK..."

About us

Denmaur has been one of the established names in the print and publishing sectors since 1983. Today, Denmaur Paper Media has become one of the leading specialist paper suppliers in the UK, offering a comprehensive range of innovative and sustainable products to suit traditional and modern print processes.

Email: ddoogan@denmaur.com

Web: www.denmaur.com/media

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danny-doogan-b795195a


This article was first published in the Publishing Partners Guide, an annual directory distributed with InPublishing magazine. If you would like to be added to the free mailing list, please register here.