CHICAGO – June 9, 2021 – With physical stores closed during the pandemic, the boom in online shopping resulted in record numbers of packages arriving on consumers’ doorsteps. Along with all that merchandise came a growing awareness of the materials used to package and ship products, and the impact those materials have on the environment. A new survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna found that U.S. consumers believe paper-based packaging is better for the environment than other packaging materials.
Paper: The preferred and sustainable packaging choice
Survey respondents were asked to rank their preferred packaging material (paper/cardboard, plastic, glass and metal) based on 15 environmental, aesthetic and practical attributes. Overall, paper/cardboard packaging was preferred for 10 of the 15 attributes, with half of respondents saying paper/cardboard is better for the environment. Consumers also preferred paper/cardboard packaging on other environmental attributes, including being home compostable (65%) and easier to recycle (44%).
Glass packaging was preferred by consumers for four practical and aesthetic attributes, including being reusable (39%), having a preferred look and feel (39%), providing a better image for the brand (38%) and better protection (35%). 45% preferred metal packaging for being strong and robust. Plastic packaging was not preferred for any of the 15 attributes but was ranked second for six attributes. Only one in 10 respondents believe plastic packaging is better for the environment.
Consumers demand that brands and retailers do more
Brands and retailers play a crucial role in driving innovation and the use of recyclable packaging. In response to increasing consumer pressure to operate more sustainably, brands and retailers in many sectors, from wine, spirits and soft drinks to candy, cosmetics and apparel are shifting from plastic to paper packaging.
The survey found that 49% of consumers would buy more from brands and retailers who remove plastic from their packaging, and 39% would consider avoiding a retailer that is not actively trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging.
“It’s important for consumers to understand that just because packaging is recyclable does not mean it actually gets recycled,” explains Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “Around 66% of all paper and paper-based packaging and nearly 89% of corrugated cardboard gets recycled into new products in the U.S. These high recycling rates and expected increases are due to the paper industry’s already completed and continuing investment in recycling infrastructure, which between 2019 and 2023 will exceed $4 billion. In comparison, the U.S. Environmental Protection reports that plastics, glass and metals are recycled at just 9%, 25% and 34%, respectively.”
Who should be responsible for reducing waste from single-use packaging?
As consumers, businesses and governments looks for ways to create a more sustainable, circular economy, waste from single-use packaging, particularly in marine environments, has come into sharp focus. When consumers were asked who has the greatest responsibility for reducing the use of non-recyclable, single-use packaging, more than a third (36%) said individuals have the primary responsibility, followed by 23% who believe it’s up to brands and retailers, 23% who believe it’s up to packaging manufacturers, and 18% who believe it’s the government’s responsibility.
“As the call for the circularity of product lifecycles grows louder, paper has always had a head start,” Rowzie says. “And the industry’s strong support and investment in recycling has transformed the circularity of paper packaging from vision to reality. At a time when there is growing alarm about the low recycled rates of other packaging materials, paper recycling is a striking exception.”
About Two Sides North America, Inc.
Two Sides North America (www.twosidesna.org) is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging, and dispels common environmental misconceptions about paper products. We are part of the Two Sides global network which operates across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
About the survey
The survey, Paper’s Place in a Post-pandemic World, queried a random sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older across the United States in January 2021.
Kathi Rowzie, President
Two Sides North America, Inc.
New Packaging Facts Booklet Shares the Great Sustainability Story of Paper-based Packaging
The paper-based packaging industry has long been committed to continuous environmental performance improvement and to transparently conveying the environmental impacts of its operations and products. With growing consumer, business and political interest in packaging and its role in the transition to a more sustainable, circular economy, the opportunities to communicate the inherently sustainable benefits of paper-based packaging with straightforward, credible and relatable information are greater than ever before.
Paper Packaging – The Natural Choice provides 7 powerful reasons why paper-based packaging is the natural choice for brands, retailers and consumers, and offers a wide range of supporting facts from credible third-party sources. By fostering a better understanding of the industry’s environmental credentials, Two Sides seeks to ensure that paper products, through their myriad uses, remain an essential part of everyday life.
Two Sides members are permitted to co-brand Paper Packaging – The Natural Choice with their company logos to supplement their own sustainability communications. A print-ready version of the booklet along with co-branding instructions can be found in the General Resources folder on the Members Only website portal. For help accessing the Members Only portal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download Paper Packaging – The Natural Choice here.
Website and ads feature sustainability facts about print and paper products related to forestry, recycling and renewable energy use in the U.S. and Canada
CHICAGO, June 25, 2020 – Two Sides North America today announced the launch of Love Paper, a new campaign designed to raise consumer awareness of the unique and inherently sustainable characteristics of print, paper and paper-based packaging. The centerpiece of the campaign is a consumer-friendly website, lovepaperna.org, where the click of a mouse reveals surprising facts about how print and paper products contribute to a sustainable future for us all.
“As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of the publications they read, the products they buy and the packaging those products come in, they need factual, science-based information to make informed purchasing decisions,” says Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel. “But all too often, they have little more than unsubstantiated marketing claims like ‘go green, go paperless’ or ‘going paperless saves trees’ to guide them. We created the Love Paper campaign to make it easy for anyone to get verifiable facts about the sustainability of print and paper products from a wide variety of trusted sources.”
A key element of the Love Paper campaign is a series of print ads that promote the sustainability of print and paper. The ads, which focus on the sustainable forestry, recycling and renewable energy advantages of paper, are available to newspaper and magazine publishers free of charge. Editor & Publisher (E&P) magazine, the authoritative journal covering all aspects of the newspaper industry, is among the ad campaign’s most enthusiastic supporters.
“The newspaper industry and our suppliers are very focused on environmental sustainability, so supporting the Love Paper campaign is a natural fit for us,” says E&P Publisher Mike Blinder. “We especially like the ‘Paper Revolution’ ad on recycling because newspaper recycling is such a big part of the American recycling success story. Nearly 70% of old newspapers are recycled into new newsprint, boxboard and other products. The Love Paper ads help us share this great story with our readers.”
The full color ads are available in full page, half page (horizontal and vertical) and quarter page sizes. Publishers interested in running the ads can go to the “For Publishers” page on the www.lovepaperna.org website or email Two Sides North America at email@example.com.
Consumers Underestimate the Sustainability of Print and Paper Products
By their very nature, print and paper products are an important part of a circular economy where resources are used as productively and efficiently as possible. They are made with renewable raw materials, are recyclable and in North America are manufactured using mostly renewable, carbon-neutral energy, making them an environmentally sound choice for reading materials, communications and packaging solutions. Yet many North American consumers significantly underestimate how sustainable print and paper products truly are.
For example, a 2019 survey commissioned by Two Sides found that 58% of consumers believe U.S. forests are shrinking. In fact, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates these forests, which supply the fresh wood fiber used by the U.S. pulp and paper industry, grew by a net area equivalent to more than 1,600 NFL football fields per day between 1990 and 2015. In Canada, only 21% of consumers think the recycling rate for paper and paper-based packaging exceeds 60%. In reality, the Canadian recycling rate is among the highest in the world at 70% according to the Forest Products Association of Canada.
“Our surveys also show that 68% of U.S. consumers believe print is the most enjoyable way to read books and 65% prefer reading printed magazines, with Canadian consumer preferences closely matching those of Americans,” Riebel says. “On the packaging side, our data also show that more than half of U.S. consumers surveyed are actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging as evidence of harm caused by plastic litter in the oceans continues to grow. The Love Paper campaign provides credible, fact-based information on why print and paper products are an environmentally responsible choice.”
About Two Sides
Two Sides North America, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of the Graphic Communications and Paper-based Packaging value chain and dispels common environmental misperceptions about print and paper products. We are part of the Two Sides global network which includes more than 600 member companies across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Our member companies span the Graphic Communications and Paper-based Packaging value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, paper-based packaging, chemicals and inks, pre-press, press, finishing, printing, publishing, envelopes and postal operations. For more information about Two Sides North America, visit us at www.twosidesna.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
For more information, contact Two Sides at:
There is increasing concern about the overuse of plastic bags and in particular, their contribution to marine litter. As a result of plastic pollution in the oceans, governments, retailers and other entities are taking action by introducing bans, fees and other initiatives to limit their use. As all concerned strive to reduce unnecessary packaging as part of a circular, less wasteful economy, paper bags, because of their inherent renewable and recyclable attributes, present an attractive, practical and natural alternative to plastic bags. READ MORE
Two Sides North America today released an engaging new infographic that shows why paper bags, because of their inherent renewable and recyclable attributes, are an attractive, practical and natural alternative to plastic bags.
Citing authoritative sources, this infographic addresses the growing concern about the overuse of plastic bags and in particular, their contribution to marine litter. For example, according to the World Resources institute, each year about 8 million metric tons of plastic litter ends up in the ocean, where it can harm fish and wildlife and, once it enters the food chain, threaten human health. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that several states have banned single-use plastic bags and hundreds of municipalities have banned or imposed fees on their use, and the Office of the Prime Minister has announced that Canada expects to ban all single-use plastics, including plastic bags, as early as 2021.
The infographic also highlights some of the key reasons why paper bags are a sustainable alternative.
“As all concerned strive to reduce unnecessary packaging as part of a circular, less wasteful economy, businesses and consumers can be confident that using paper bags is a responsible choice,” says Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel. “The raw material used for paper bags made in the U.S. and Canada comes from sustainably managed forests where trees are grown, harvested and regrown in accordance with responsible forest management practices, environmental regulations and globally recognized forest certification standards, and the U.S. and Canada are world leaders in paper recycling. That’s why paper bags are a natural choice.”
Download the new Two Sides new infographic here.
About Two Sides
Two Sides North America is an independent, non-profit organization, and is part of the Two Sides global network which includes more than 600 member companies across North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Our member companies span the Graphic Communications and Paper-based Packaging value chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, paper-based packaging, chemicals and inks, pre-press, press, finishing, printing, publishing, envelopes and postal operations. For more information about Two Sides North America, visit us at www.twosidesna.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Contact Two Sides at: