“Going Paperless” Losing its Allure

By Robin Kantor

A few years ago, everyone touted about how the world would soon go paperless: no more book printing, newspapers, magazines, and so on. However, it now seems that all those marketing messages about the environmental benefits of online documentation are falling on deaf ears.

A study funded by the trade group Two Sides North America recently found that taxpayers who were encouraged to file online instead of by mail were reluctant to do just that. The study also conducted research on why that is the case. It discovered a number of reasons, such as:

Many people prefer or need paper documents. Paper is seen as safer, trusted and more secure. This isn’t surprising given the recent onslaught of media stories about identity theft, privacy breaches and hacking.

People also find it easier to read their documents on paper and printing copies to keep for themselves, negating the paperless aspect.

Then there are the people without internet access or who, as is the case with many seniors and the disabled, lack the skills/ability to go online.

Consumers are now more apt to recognize corporate environmental claims for what they really are: a shift of corporate printing costs to consumers. The skeptics feel it is inappropriate for companies to cite environmentalism when that is not the real motive.

Also, paper is not seen as a “bad” product but, rather, as highly sustainable when it is responsibly produced, used and recycled, especially when compared with electronics.

Therefore, marketing claims that going paperless is “greener” are not only misleading but ineffective. Newark Trade is proud to be a part of the “green” trend of promoting and using real paper!