Myths Facts

The truth about paper

Reusable packaging is more ecological than recyclable
Paper and board packaging: natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable

Board packaging optimises use of resources through an integrated, sustainable cycle

Recyclable packaging reduces the environmental impact more effectively than reuse, through an integrated, sustainable, environmentally responsible cycle:


Optimises the use of resources. Paper packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable and manufactured from a natural, renewable source such as wood. Nearly 85% of the raw material used in manufacturing corrugated board boxes is obtained from recycling.


Optimises the logistics processes and reduces contaminating emissions from transport. Provides custom protection and design. Is able to adopt as many shapes and sizes as required by the product. Transports product, not air: less trucks are required to transport the same amount of merchandise.


There is no health risk. With board, each product is in a new packaging: with a new package, there is no risk of contamination from previous use.

After use

100% biodegradable and a leader in recovery and recycling.

We should consume bulk products to use less packaging
93% of consumers considers that paper and board packaging is the most ecological

Paper and board packaging protects the product, provides relevant information on it and its environmental characteristics are unbeatable

Paper and board packaging is natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable and produced with increasingly cleaner technologies.

Paper and board packaging allow the product to reach the consumer intact and under adequate hygienic conditions. Moreover, they are an identical media for the Brand, and to provide information on the characteristics of the product (composition, expiry, using instructions …), as they provide the best printing conditions.

In underdeveloped countries, throughout the supply chain, losses of food products – to a fair extent due to lack of packaging – reach 50%, while in developed countries, this amounts to 2 or 3%. World Health Organisation

93% of consumers consider that paper and board packaging is the most ecological. Paper Survey in Spain. TECEL ESTUDIOS-SIGMADOS for EL FORO DEL PAPEL, April 2012

Paper is a product of the past
91% of consumers cannot imagine life without paper

Renewable, recyclable bioproducts such as paper are the products of the future

Consumers, who are increasingly more aware of pressures on resources and the need for efficiency, demand increasing functionality of products and a lower carbon footprint. Renewable, recyclable, biodegradable bioproducts such as paper, able to produce the greatest added value from the initial raw materials, are the most suitable to satisfy the demands and expectations of the new consumers. CEPI-ASPAPEL Paper invents the future 2013

In a future already in sight, the paper macro-sector will manufacture a whole new generation of wood fibre bioproducts (textiles, cosmetics, paints and varnishes, insulation, composites…). CEPI-ASPAPEL Paper invents the future 2013

And the present paper products shall also be reinvented: intelligent packaging that tells you if the fruit is mature or whether or not you have taken your medicine; hygienic and sanitary products with the highest service, with new solutions for babies and the elderly; graphic papers integrated with computer solutions… CEPI-ASPAPEL Paper invents the future 2013

91% of consumers cannot imagine a life without paper and the majority (68%) are open to using new paper products such as paper batteries, intelligent packaging or cosmetics and medicines based on cellulose fibre. Paper Survey in Spain. TECEL ESTUDIOS-SIGMADOS for THE PAPER FORUM, April 2012

Paper is more polluting than other materials and media
The carbon footprint of paper is lower than that of other materials

Highly positive balance in favour of paper

Paper books and electronic books: Only by reading more than 33 e-books of 360 pages each one, during the life cycle of an electronic book, may the device become preferable to paper from the point of view of mitigating climate change. Centre for Sustainable Communications – Royal Institute of Technology KTH Sweden (Borggren & Moberg)
-Pappersbok och elektronisk bok pa läsplatta, 2010

Printed newspaper and digital newspaper: Reading a printed newspaper has less impact on global warming than reading the news on the Internet for 30 minutes. Centre for Sustainable Communications – Royal Institute of Technology KTH Sweden (Moberg, Johansson, Finnveden y Jonsson) – Screening environmental life cycle assessment of printed, web based and tablet e-paper newspaper, 2007

Electronic mail: Office e-mail users emit 131 kilos of CO2 equivalent per annum (including both spam as well as legitimate messages). McAfee – ICF International – The Carbon Footprint of email Spam Report, 2009

Postal mail (on paper): the emissions associated with postal mail received annually per home amount to 14 kilos of CO2, that are equivalent to the emissions of five cheeseburgers or a 70 kilometre car journey. EMIP European Mail industry Platform – The Fact of our Value Chain, 2009

Corrugated board packaging: If Spain were to replace reusable plastic packaging with corrugated board packaging, it would lower the annual CO2 emissions by 133,480 tonnes, as much as if 78,518 cars were taken off the road. José Luis Nueno y Pedro Videla – IESE – Analysis of the economic and environmental impact of corrugated board packaging industries compared with reusable plastic, 2009

Paper bags: The carbon footprint of Kraft paper bags is half those of LDPE (for a large bag, 41 grams of CO2 equivalent if paper compared with 87 grams if it is plastic; for a small bag, 14 grams of CO2 equivalent if paper and 28 grams if plastic). Asociación Cluster del Papel de Euskadi – Factor CO2 – Improving sustainability of the paper sector. Carbon footprint study of the paper sector in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, 2009

Consumers no longer read on paper
92% of internet users read paper magazines and 82% read printed newspapers

According to the surveys, consumers want to continue to use paper media

According to the largest and most recent research into the matter, the Paper Survey in Stain conducted by TECEL ESTUDIOS-SIGMADOS for Foro del Papel in April 2012, with a thousand interviews  nationwide of respondents over 18 years old, the consumers emphasised the emotional values of the paper media and wished to continue to use it, considering it compatible with the electronic media:

  • They feel paper is nearer and more pleasant than other products and technologies (81%).
  • They defend that there should continue to be paper media for books (91%) and for
    newspapers and magazines (77%).
  • They consider that in a sustainable economy, it would be appropriate for printed books to cohabit with electronic books (87%).
  • They want to continue to receive their invoices and bank balances on paper (60%).

96% of internet users affirm they have read a magazine in the last six months: 60% opts to read magazines in both formats (paper and electronic), 32% only reads printed magazines and 4% only reads such publications on line. Survey AIMC Traditional magazines versus on line magazines 2012

A similar percentage (93%) affirms having read a newspaper in the lost month: 58% opts to read newspapers in both formats (paper and electronic), 24% only reads printed newspapers, and 11% only reads such publications on line. Survey AIMC Daily press and supplements 2014