Digital reading or print on paper, what pollutes more?

Friends of the Earth France says in a report that the eReader is an “ecological disaster”. The arguments advanced on its website are the energy cost of producing electronic reading devices and the deforestation that causes the access to certain minerals usually in developing countries to manufacture their parts, which are often not recyclable. Because of these practices, the association encouraged increasing the use of recycled paper in printing and share books already read, as more effective measures to help the environment.

The carbon footprint that leaves paper printing can be much lower than that of the digital, and in fact, people are beginning to worry about e-waste, as explained by the director general of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Pulp, Paper and Cardboard (ASPAPEL), Carlos Reinoso. According to figures provided by his organization, the carbon footprint generated by printing a hardcover book of 300 pages during their entire life cycle [from the tree to the reader] is 1.2 kilograms of CO2, equivalent to 115 times searching on Internet less than half a minute or two hours total digital query. From the environmental point of view, for the reading of a document more or less extensive is preferable to print it on paper than read it on a screen.

On this same idea has insisted the responsible for HP supplies in Spain, Alejandro Sanz, who has said that paradoxically many emails are accompanied by a tagline at the end of the messages that read “Do not print” to respect the environment, but it is often preferable to do it.

Other information provided by ASPAPEL shows that at least it is necessary to read 33 books of 360 pages each in a digital reading device or eReader to amortize the environmental costs of the entire life cycle of printing on paper. Moreover, according to this association, reading a printed newspaper has less impact on global warming than reading it online during thirty minutes. ASPAPEL’s general manager noted that the paper is the most recycled material in the world, and its impact in the fight against climate change is beginning to make their way, because their environmental characteristics are “unbeatable”. In his opinion, the printed media for reading will gradually integrate digital media using innovations that are already being considered as kind of ink, chips, etc.

zoomnews (EFE) (18/08/2013)

Leave a Comment (0) ↓