Headquartered in Coquitlam, BC, West World Paper (WWP) is a merchant that services the commercial print market in Western Canada. The company offers a wide range of fine paper products, office papers, envelopes, wide format media, janitorial and industrial products. In addition, WWP has an internal converting department that produces engineering/CAD rolls, films, kraft paper and newsprint rolls. From its 30,000-square-foot headquarters and another 12,000-square-foot facility in Calgary, AB, the company manages more than 2,000 products and operates its own fleet of trucks, making distribution to customers in the region fast and efficient.
West World Paper has built a strong reputation not only for providing high quality products, but also for its commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The company assures that the pulp in all products it buys is sourced from sustainably managed forests. They have an extensive internal recycling program as well as a recycling program for customers. And they are big supporters of other local businesses and charities. WWP Director Shawn Leach says Two Sides membership is a perfect complement to the company’s sustainability efforts.
“Two Sides is a tremendous advocate for our industry, and West World Paper is proud to be a member,” Leach says. “There are so many misconceptions about our industry and our products, and Two Sides effectively busts those myths by highlighting the many studies and facts from trusted third-party sources in an easy to understand format. And being a non-profit organization only adds to the credibility of their messaging and materials, which West World Paper uses regularly to help educate our customers and consumers,” he says.
West World Paper’s extensive internal recycling program recovers all paper, corrugated, wood and plastic used in its facilities, which is then sent to a local recycling company. The wide format paper rolls that WWP converts for the reprographic industry include paper cores and plastic caps. When the company delivers new rolls to a customer, they pick up the cores and caps from the empty rolls and reuse them in the converting process, preventing them from going to the landfill.
“In addition to our environmental commitment, we’re also big supporters of our local economy,” WWP Director Kevin Burden explains. “We make every decision with our local community top of mind. We use a local bank, local legal and accounting services, local graphic designers and of course, local printers. We want people to understand that when they support West World Paper, they are supporting our local community.”
WWP also supports the local community with its charitable contributions. One of the company’s key efforts is its participation in the Starfish Backpack Program, an effort supported by local Rotary Clubs across British Columbia which provides weekend meals to families in need. Many weeks throughout the year, WWP employees fill backpacks with meals and snacks and deliver them to a local school for students to take home for the weekend. The students return the empty backpacks to the school, and the volunteers pick them up to be refilled.
“We have a highly experienced, dedicated team that takes a great deal of pride in going above and beyond for our customers and our community,” Burden says. Giving back is just one of the many ways they help transform West World Paper’s sustainability commitment into action.”
For more information about West World Paper, visit www.westworldpaper.com.
Across all environmental issues related to the manufacture of paper-based products in North America, the harvesting of trees for wood fiber is arguably the most familiar, yet also the most misunderstood. Decades of misguided marketing messages that suggest using less paper protects forests along with deliberate anti-paper campaigns by environmental groups that twist scientific facts to suit their own agendas have left many feeling guilty for using products that are inherently sustainable. They are made from a renewable resource, are recyclable and are among the most recycled products in the world, and are manufactured using a high level of renewable energy – all key elements in a circular economy.
So, what’s the most effective way to reverse the misconceptions of those who believe the North American print, paper and paper-based packaging industry is shrinking U.S. and Canadian forests? It’s simple: Show them the data.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been monitoring the world’s forests at five- to 10-year intervals since 1946. The FAO’s 2020 global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) presents a comprehensive view of the world’s forests and the ways in which this important resource changed between 1990 and 2020. The data from 236 countries were collected using commonly agreed upon terms and definitions through a transparent, traceable reporting process and a well-established network of officially nominated national representatives. These include the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Canada.
Since 1990, there has been a net loss of 440 million acres of forests globally, an area larger than the entire state of Alaska. A net change in forest area is the sum of all forest losses (deforestation) and all forest gains (forest expansion) in a given period. FAO defines deforestation as the conversion of forest to other land uses, regardless of whether it is human-induced. FAO specifically excludes from its definition areas where trees have been removed by harvesting or logging because the forest is expected to regenerate naturally or with the aid of sustainable forestry practices.
In contrast, despite deforestation by urban development, fire, insects and other causes, total forest area in the United States actually increased and forest area in Canada has remained stable since 1990. This is due in great part to sustainable forest management practices implemented by the North American paper and forest products industry, the highest percentage of certified forests (nearly 50%) in the world, and laws and regulations aimed at protecting forest resources.
The world has a total forest area of around 10 billion acres or 31% of total land area. More than half (54%) of these forests are in just five countries – the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States and China.
Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020 at 9.6 million acres, followed by South America, at 6.4 million acres.
While the net loss of 440 million acres of forest is troubling, there is some improvement in the global numbers. The rate of net forest loss decreased substantially over the period 1990–2020 due to a reduction in deforestation in some countries, plus increases in forest area in others through afforestation (establishing forest where none existed previously) and the natural expansion of forests. The annual rate of net forest loss declined from 19.2 million acres in 1990–2000 to 12.8 million acres in 2000–2010 and 11.6 million acres in 2010–2020.
While an estimated 1.04 billion acres of forest have been lost worldwide to deforestation since 1990, the rate of deforestation also declined substantially. Between 2015 and 2020, the annual global rate of deforestation was estimated at around 25 million acres, down from 30 million acres between 2010 and 2015.
Globally, 54% of forests have long-term forest management plans. FAO defines forest management as the process of planning and implementing practices for the stewardship and use of forests targeted at specific environmental, economic, social and cultural objectives. Around 96% of forestlands in Europe has management plans, 64% in Asia, less than 25% in Africa and only 17% in South America.
U.S. and Canada Data
According to the 2020 FRA, the United States and Canada account for 8% and 9%, respectively, of the world’s total forest area.
In the U.S., total forest area increased by 18 million acres between 1990 and 2020, which averages out to the equivalent of around 1,200 NFL football fields every day. Canada’s total forest area remained relatively stable over the 30-year assessment period at approximately 857 million acres.
Approximately 59% of forestlands in North America has long-term forest management plans.
Help Spread the Word!
The North American print, paper and paper-based packaging industry plays a significant role in keeping U.S. and Canadian forests sustainable for future generations, and that’s something to be very proud of. One of the best ways to show that pride is by taking every available opportunity to bust the myth that the production of paper products destroys forests. For more facts to help you spread the word, check out our Two Sides fact sheet on Paper Production and Sustainable Forestry here.
Many banks, utilities, telecoms and other service providers continue to encourage (and sometimes force) their customers to switch from paper to electronic communications, using claims that electronic communication is “greener,” “saves trees” or “protects the planet” as justification. One can only conclude that the CEOs of these companies are either 1) misinformed about the inherent sustainability of print and paper, the rapidly expanding environmental footprint of digital communication or both, 2) trusting marketing teams who don’t bother to validate environmental claims or 3) seeking to save costs by ignoring established environmental marketing rules from the U.S. FTC and Canadian Standards Association that say marketers “should not make broad, unqualified environmental benefit claims like “green” and that “claims should be clear, prominent and specific.”
Growth of electronic devices and e-waste
There’s no arguing that the use of electronic devices has exploded over the last decade. According to a 2019 study by the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of Americans (81%) now own smartphones, up from just 35% in 2011. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults now own desktop or laptop computers, and roughly half now own tablets and e-readers. This boom has resulted in many advances that make our lives more efficient, productive and enjoyable. But it has also brought with it serious and increasing environmental, health and economic consequences.
According to the recently released Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) 2020, a record 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of electronic waste was generated in 2019, up 21% in just five years. For perspective, last year’s e-waste weighed as much as 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary 2, enough to form a line 76 miles long. The GEM describes e-waste as discarded products with a battery or plug. Small electronic equipment, screens and monitors, small IT and telecommunication equipment comprised more than half of global e-waste last year. The U.S. and Canada collectively generated 7.7 Mt of electronic waste in 2019. That’s 46 lbs. per person, and nearly three times the worldwide per capita generation of 16 lbs.
The report also predicts global e-waste, will reach 74 Mt by 2030, almost a doubling of e-waste in just 16 years. This makes e-waste the world’s fastest-growing waste stream, fueled by higher consumption rates of electric and electronic devices, short device life cycles and few options for repair. Many people now see devices and appliances as ultimately disposable, simply discarding them when it’s time for an upgrade. Others may hold on to them, but are unable to find a cost-effective way to repair them.
Little e-waste is recycled
The GEM found that only 17.4% of e-waste was collected and recycled globally in 2019, with only 15% of e-waste in North America recycled. Most e-waste was either dumped or burned rather than being collected for recycling and reuse.
Numerous toxic and hazardous substances are found in electronic equipment and pose severe risk to the environment and human health when not handled in an environmentally sound manner. Recent research cited in the GEM found that unregulated e-waste is associated with increasing numbers of adverse health effects, from birth defects and altered neurodevelopment to DNA damage, adverse cardiovascular and respiratory effects and cancer.
E-waste also represents a huge economic loss. When electronic devices are simply thrown away, high-value, recoverable materials such as iron, copper and gold are thrown away with them. “If we cannot recycle electronic waste, we’re not taking back materials into the loop, which means we have to extract new raw materials,” says Vanessa Forti, the lead author of the GEM. It’s estimated that the value of raw materials in all global e-waste generated in 2019 equaled a staggering $57 billion US, more than the gross domestic product of most countries.
Electronic communication, energy consumption and climate change
The miniaturization of equipment and the “invisibility” of the infrastructures used leads many to underestimate the environmental footprint of digital technology. This phenomenon is reinforced by the widespread availability of services on the “cloud,” which makes the physical reality of use all the more imperceptible and leads to underestimating the direct environmental impacts of digital technology.
By 2023, global tech giant Cisco estimates that North America will have 345 million internet users (up from 328 million in 2018), and 5 billion networked devices/connections (up from 3 billion in 2018). The U.S. Department of Energy reports that U.S. data centers consumed an estimated 70 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2014, representing about 1.8% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Based on current trend estimates, U.S. data centers are projected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020. This energy consumption does not include the energy required to build, power or recharge the devices.
According to The Shift Project, a carbon transition think tank, the energy consumption required for digital technologies is increasing 9% each year and the share of digital technology in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could double to 8% by 2025. The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyzed 113 information technology companies in 2014 and found that only 14% of the energy consumed was from renewable sources.
The contrasts between electronic and paper communications are well-defined
The magnitude of the negative impacts resulting from the use of electronic communication should be cause enough for companies to abandon their unverifiable greenwashing claims that going digital is better for the environment, but the comparison with paper-based communication should seal the deal for those that are committed to responsible marketing practices.
Since its inception, Two Sides has been working to end corporate greenwashing of digital communication. For more information about Two Sides’ Anti-greenwash Campaign, click here.
For more facts on electronic communication and other paper sustainability topics, click 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
As U.S. consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their packaging choices, a majority believe paper-based packaging is better for the environment, according to the results of Two Sides North America’s 2020 U.S. Packaging Preferences Survey. The survey, which was conducted by independent consumer research company Toluna, sought to understand consumer preferences, perceptions and attitudes toward various types of packaging.
Respondents were asked to rank their preferred packaging materials (paper/cardboard, glass, metal and plastic) based on 15 environmental, practical and visual/tactile attributes. Overall, paper/cardboard packaging ranked highest on 11 of the 15 attributes, with 66% of respondents saying paper/cardboard packaging is better for the environment. Consumers also ranked paper/cardboard packaging highest on other environmental attributes, including being home compostable (69%) and easier to recycle (51%).
Glass packaging ranked highest among consumers on three practical and tactile/visual attributes, including being reusable (36%), having a preferred look and feel (32%) and providing better protection (29%). Nearly half of respondents (47%) ranked metal packaging highest for being strong and robust. Plastic packaging was not ranked highest for any of the 15 attributes but was ranked second highest for seven attributes.
“Interest in sustainable packaging continues to gain momentum as consumers become more aware of how various packaging materials impact the environment,” says Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel. “Our survey shows that U.S. consumers recognize paper-based packaging’s environmentally sustainable characteristics, but some areas remain misunderstood, particularly paper’s high recycling rate.”
The survey showed that paper/cardboard is correctly considered by consumers to be the most recycled packaging material, but only 24% think the U.S. recycling rate for paper/cardboard packaging exceeds 60%. In fact, 73% of all paper-based packaging in the United States is recycled, and 88% of cardboard is recycled, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Consumer attitudes toward plastic are clear, with 57% of survey respondents indicating they are actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging. While consumers believe plastic packaging is the second-most recycled after paper/cardboard packaging, most respondents significantly overestimate the plastic packaging recycling rate, believing it to be between two and more than five times greater than the actual rate of 13%.
Metal packaging is perceived to have the third highest recycling rate and glass packaging comes in fourth. With latest available figures showing actual recycling rates of 73% and 34%, respectively, the level of recycling for these packaging materials also is widely misjudged.
The survey also found that consumers across the United States are willing to change their behavior to shop more sustainably. Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) are willing to spend more on a product if it is packaged using sustainable materials, and more than a third (36%) said they would consider avoiding a retailer who is not taking steps to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging.
“Awareness of sustainable packaging choices is becoming a driving force in consumer purchasing decisions, which in turn is influencing businesses to rethink their packaging strategies, particularly in the retail sector,” Riebel says. “The culture of make, use and dispose is gradually changing.”
The wide-ranging Packaging Preferences Survey also explored consumer perceptions of various U.S. retailers’ efforts to increase their use of environmentally friendly packaging, awareness of forest certification and environmental labels, and preferences in shopping bag materials.
To read the full report, please visit https://twosidesna.org/survey.
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2017
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2017
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:
On July 17, the Paper and Packaging Board released its 2018 Annual Report and State of the Campaign update highlighting the progress of the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds® campaign. Positive-trending consumer preference data shows the most improved and robust measures of consumers’ desire for paper since the campaign launch in 2015.
Among the target audience who recall seeing campaign ads, measures related to personal relevance and attitudes around the quality of paper and paper-based product packaging have improved since the start of the campaign. 75 percent feel that storing and keeping information on paper is valuable in a digital world, 70 percent think more highly of companies and brands that use paper-based product packaging, and 75 percent find recycling worthwhile.
“The four-year-old campaign continues to create strong positive feelings about our products giving customers looking for an alternative to plastic even more reasons to use paper-based packaging,” according to Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board. “Paper and paper-based packaging have high recyclability and these products come from a renewable resource. While the recycling market continues to sort itself out, most of the consumers surveyed remain committed to choosing and using paper.”
This year, the campaign focused on messaging tailored to strategy, learning, innovation and productivity. It optimized technology and intuitive website content to tell a story. The advertising campaign has appeared in primetime, late-night and digital TV, digital video, print advertising, social media platforms and in public relations campaigns. The multimillion-dollar campaign brings together manufacturers and importers of paper and packaging for the purposes of promotion. Visit www.howlifeunfolds.com for more information.
The combined marketing metrics, as well as other campaign results, can be found in the State of the Campaign update to the Industry, including the 2018 Annual Report on financials.
About the Paper and Packaging Board
The Paper and Packaging Board promotes the use of paper products and paper-based packaging by highlighting the value they bring to our daily lives. More than 40 U.S. manufacturers and importers collectively fund the national marketing campaign, Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds®. www.howlifeunfolds.com
Source: Paper and Packaging Board, click here for a link to the full report
Is recycling worth it? For most consumers, the answer is: yes! Survey data released by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB) in its 2018 Campaign Impact Report reveals that 83% of consumers surveyed agree recycling paper of all kinds is still worthwhile. The Impact Report also shows that the paper and packaging industry is viewed more favorably than other materials industries.
In a separate survey about packaging, P+PB reports how consumers continue to rely on paper packaging as it plays a role in influencing their purchasing decisions. Products packaged in paper/cardboard were perceived as being more attractive and higher quality by roughly two thirds. Furthermore, 68% of consumers said they were most likely to buy something in a paper or cardboard package if given the choice between paper or plastic.
The paper recovery rate is a metric used to show how much of the paper used in the U.S. is recycled into new products over a given period. The American Paper and Forest Association (AF&PA) reports that 68.1% of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2018. According to the AF&PA: “..paper recovery for recycling helps extend the life of paper and paper-based packaging products, making it an integral part of the industry’s sustainability story.” As part of the AF&PA’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative, the industry aims to exceed 70% paper recovery for recycling by 2020.
Read more about the U.S. rate of paper recovery: