BBC scraps paper scripts to "save trees" - Two Sides responds

Submitted by: The Two Sides Team 28/02/2017

Those of you who read The Daily Telegraph may have spotted a familiar name in the Letters to the Editor section on Saturday. Two Sides wrote to the Editor in response to a previous article in the paper about the BBC’s decision to replace paper scripts with digital scripts as part of their ‘green measures’.

Here’s an extract from the original article that we, and many of our members and stakeholders, had a particular issue with;

Shows such as Casualty have already halved the paper they use from scripts as part of their green measures, estimating they have saved the equivalent of 90 trees.

Two Sides works hard to tackle misconceptions about the print and paper industry. Statements claiming that saving paper saves trees are unsubstantiated, misleading and can have a lasting effect on people’s perceptions of paper.

As many of you know, European forests, which provide 85% of the virgin wood fibre used in European paper production, grew by an area the size of Switzerland between 2005-2015. The European print and paper industry is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy (56% of total energy consumption is biomass-based) and recycling (72% of paper is recycled in Europe - close to the practical maximum of 78%).

Digital media has revolutionised the way we work and communicate. But the environmental impacts of this revolution are enormous and often neglected when it comes to 'green measures'. Over 41 million tonnes of e-waste is generated every year and recovery and recycling rates of electronic goods are notoriously poor. The energy demand of the global 'cloud' infrastructure in 2011 was 684 billion kWh, with demand expected to increase 63% by 2020.

We have also written to the BBC directly, asking them to review future messaging regarding the environmental impact of paper scripts.

Find out more about our Love Paper campaign, which raises awareness of European forest growth and sustainable paper production and reaches over 30 million people a year in the UK.