Paper: here tomorrow in South Africa

Paper is a renewable and recyclable material that can be a responsible choice in your print and digital media mix. This FAQ shows how with a focus on South Africa where Sappi was born in 1936.

Why use paper?

Paper offers a sensory experience no other communication medium can replicate. The type of paper used can evoke a world of emotions, memories, experiences shared and those still to come – it can say so much, without using any words. We do not merely use paper, we engage with it. Paper stimulates our senses and our emotions.

A world without paper would provide information in a soulless, impersonal manner; never tangible and always dependent on an electronic device, batteries and power sources. A world without paper would provide would have no sustainable, renewable and biodegradable solution for packaging. Imagine a world without paper: no books to snuggle up with in bed; no magazines with views, trends and features to read and share with friends; nothing on which to scribble your brilliant ideas or to practise your art; no sheet of music when playing your piano and no packaging to protect valuable goods in transit. Not even toilet tissue or kitchen wipes.

How does paper compare with digital media?

Digital media has its place, but paper is still very much part of our daily lives - that’s true even for the younger generation. A survey by a UK bookseller found that three-quarters of students would prefer to use physical books over ebooks for their studies. The survey also showed that 76% of respondents preferred printed textbooks, compared with 18.5% who chose ebooks and 5.5% who opted for digital courseware.

Perhaps this relates to another survey which showed that digital media can be distracting: 'The reading process and experience of digital text are greatly affected by the fact that we click and scroll, in contrast to the tactilely richer experience when flipping through the pages of a printed book'.

Did you know that trees fight climate change? 

Through photosynthesis, trees and other plants use water and sunlight to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbohydrates to provide energy and the building blocks for plant growth. The process releases oxygen as a by-product. The CO2 removed from the atmosphere is converted and stored in plant material and wood. In other words, trees and the use of forest products – like paper and paper packaging – can act as carbon sinks. In all regions, our industry has played a significant role in expanding forests and plantations. Harvesting is not equal to deforestation. It is an important part of the cycle of growth, materials manufacture and regrowth. Learn more with our FAQ on climate change