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May 1, 2017

Plastic vs Paper: Busting The Green Myth of Paper Business Cards

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Plastic is often hailed as the villain when discussing the environment. The common argument made against plastic is that it’s not biodegradable. However, that’s just one parameter on a long list of things that can cause environmental damage. While there is no denying the negative impact of plastic, in many ways, it is actually more environmentally friendly than paper. That’s right, according to EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory report, paper production facilities are one of the leading polluters in the nation. A traditional paper and pulp mill ends up polluting the land, water, and air. If you are still not convinced, following are 5 reasons why plastic business cards are greener than paper cards.

More Water Wastage During Paper Production: Paper production requires a lot of water-based processing. Water is required in the digestion process where wood is turned into a mushy substance called pulp. The created pulp is then thoroughly washed using gallons of fresh water. If that was not enough, the cleaned pulp is then colored by dunking it in a solution of color and water. Considering there is only a limited amount of fresh water available, the thirsty production procedure of paper is hard to be overlooked.

Paper Production Requires More Energy: According to estimates, it takes four times the energy to produce paper than producing the same amount of plastic material. While paper mills are constantly optimizing their technologies to improve their energy efficiency, they are still far from matching the low energy requirements of a plastic production facility.

Paper Production Requires Cutting of Trees: Let’s not lose sight of where paper comes from. Now, to be fair, the paper industry plants more trees than it cuts down. However, according to reports a significant amount of paper comes from cutting down old growth forests. These forests are made up of large ancient trees and cutting them down can cause a severe ecological disturbance.

Paper Production Causes Higher Degree of Air Pollution: Millions of pounds of toxic pollutants are released into the atmosphere all thanks to paper production. These toxic chemicals include formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, toluene, chlorine dioxide, and methanol.

Plastic Lasts Longer: Paper business cards are much less durable than their plastic counterparts. While printed plastic cards lasts for years without degradation paper cards are more prone to damage. This means a typical office would end up losing a lot of paper business cards to environmental damages. The fact that plastic cards are much more durable, reduces wastage, which in turn lessens the carbon footprint caused by production.

Long story short, the carbon footprint of a paper business card is much more than that of a business card made from plastic materials. Therefore, saying that traditional business cards are a greener alternative to plastic business cards is misleading, to say the least.

We at PlasCards understand the environmental impact of plastic. This is why we urge our customers to reduce wastage and to dispose plastic business cards in designated recycling bins.


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