Industry Rebukes Toshiba’s ‘National No-Print Day’
The announcement was actually made last week, but it took until this week for the printing industry to take note of Toshiba America Business Solutions declaring Oct. 23, 2012, as “National No-Print Day” (NNPD). Widespread condemnation quickly came from the champions of printing once the word got out.
Toshiba produced videos and a website that feature a spokes character named “Tree” to convey the message that trees should be given “a well-deserved day off” from the contribution they make to the modern workplace. “NNPD is a nationwide campaign to encourage, educate and challenge individuals and companies to commit to one day of no printing to raise awareness of the impact printing has on our planet,” the announcement stated.
Industry blogger Dead Tree Edition appears to deserve the credit for shedding a light on the campaign with his “10 Questions About Toshiba’s No-Print Day” post last Sunday. The blog characterized the initiative as “a stunning display of greenwashing and ignorance.”
Two Sides—the organization that “promotes print and paper as a versatile, sustainable communications medium”—echoed the greenwash charge and asserted that Toshiba’s effort was “one of the most blatant examples.” Its rebuttal went on to state that, “This campaign is backed up by a number of contentious and unsourced claims designed to support this ill-conceived initiative.”
When Two Sides’ response was posted by IPG’s sister publication, Printing Impressions, it prompted a flurry of negative Comments. Boycotting Toshiba was a common theme.
Printing Industries of America was among the other defenders of print joining the counteroffensive. “Needless to say, we find such a proposal ridiculous and an insult to the more than 800,000 Americans who owe their direct livelihood to our industry,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO.
“Our industry has long led the way utilizing sustainable processes. The primary raw material for printing is paper, which comes from trees, which are a renewable resource,” Makin pointed out. “Electronic devices, which Toshiba produces, 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.
“For Toshiba to call for such a ban on printing is hypocritical to say the least,” he concluded.