Greening Print Marketing: Do You Really Want to Purchase That Imported Paper?

✅ All InspiredEconomist articles and guides have been fact-checked and reviewed for accuracy. Please refer to our editorial policy for additional information.

In this economic environment, it’s tempting to succumb to the temptation to purchase on price. Two products may seem comparable in quality and performance, so why not go with the less expensive one? When it comes to paper, the reason is environmental impact.

Imported paper, especially from China, carries a terrible environmental price.

First, Chinese paper producers cannot produce enough pulp to meet the demand for paper, so its factories import wood and scrap paper from elsewhere in the world, including the United States. They produce the paper, then ship it back across the ocean.

As reported by Paper Tells a Story, Chinese paper producers cannot produce enough pulp to meet the demand for paper, so its factories import wood and scrap paper from elsewhere in the world, including the United States.

They produce the paper, then ship it back across the ocean. The distance from Los Angeles to Shanghai by sea is 6,438 miles and 6,945 miles from New York to the western border of China.  This means that the fiber in a lot of imported paper products has traveled as much as 12-14,000 miles in their production lifecycle before being sent by land to you.

In addition, tankers tend to use inexpensive, dirty “bunker” fuel, which emit more soot than previously realized. Another Paper Tells a Story blog post cites a Los Angeles Times report in which, in response to these findings, California has instituted the world’s (at the time) toughest pollution laws for ocean-going vessels. Starting in July, cruise ships and container ships coming within 24 nautical miles for Califnora will be required to burn low-sulphur diesel or face stuff fines.

So before you order that less-expensive, imported paper, think carefully about the unintended consequences.

Paper Tells a Story is a site dedicated to paper and forestry related blogs, podcasts, whitepapers, and more.

Like this post? View all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Image source: Andy Muir (monstamash), Stock Exchange

About The Author

4 thoughts on “Greening Print Marketing: Do You Really Want to Purchase That Imported Paper?”

  1. Even responsible paper companies like New Leaf have a couple of lines that are foreign-milled (Primavera from Italy, Sakura from Japan). The company I work for had started offering Primavera to our customers simply because of the high recycled and PCW content (80%/60% respectively) and it’s high-gloss finish. It’s really hard to find a nice gloss paper with high recycled content, but we may have to stop carrying it since the demand is not there for our paper distributor (Unisource). Apparently, Unisource is trying to buy the foreign-milled papers in higher quantities to save on the freight cost, but without the customer demand, they won’t be ordering often.

  2. Even responsible paper companies like New Leaf have a couple of lines that are foreign-milled (Primavera from Italy, Sakura from Japan). The company I work for had started offering Primavera to our customers simply because of the high recycled and PCW content (80%/60% respectively) and it’s high-gloss finish. It’s really hard to find a nice gloss paper with high recycled content, but we may have to stop carrying it since the demand is not there for our paper distributor (Unisource). Apparently, Unisource is trying to buy the foreign-milled papers in higher quantities to save on the freight cost, but without the customer demand, they won’t be ordering often.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top