Toshiba has cancelled its plan for a National No-Print Day it had planned for October 23, as a result of protests from the PIA (Printing Industry of America), the Two Sides lobby group, and the industry at large.
Toshiba was hoping to introduce an unofficial day to reduce paper waste, which encouraged consumers not to print for one day in October. The ill-conceived plan was met with a torrent of anger by the printing industry, resulting in Toshiba calling off the proposed plan.
Bill Melo, vice president of marketing, services and solutions at Toshiba America Business Solutions in a written statement says, “The intent was to raise awareness of wasteful office printing practices and to provide simple tips and tools to reduce it.”
The PIA says the campaign was based on ignorance, was offensive to printing industry workers, and unfairly implicated print as environmentally hazardous. PIA’s CEO Michael Makin said about Toshiba’s claims, “This is patently untrue. Our industry has long led the way utilising sustainable processes. The primary raw material for printing is paper, which comes from trees, which are a renewable resource - so renewable that today, our country has 20 per cent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day which was held more than 40 years ago
Melo added, “The provocative name and message unfortunately led to a misconception of the campaign goals by the paper and print industries and for that we apologise. Toshiba America Business Solutions recognises that printing and paper are necessities at the workplace and in our lives, and that the companies and employees of those industries make valuable contributions on society.”
Printing and paper and their position in the environment are totally misunderstood by most people despite the major efforts that have been made to demonstrate the industries’ environmental credentials. These are industries that have one of the best green records of any industry. Michael Makin states in his message the following, “Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint — all other media require energy every time they are viewed. Electronic devices, which Toshiba produces, for example, require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. Moreover 50–80 per cent of electronic waste collected for recycling is shipped overseas and is often unsafely dismantled. For Toshiba to call for such a ban on printing is hypocritical to say the least.”
Toshiba has removed the all online content of the campaign.