In what appeared to be a ham-fisted attempt to generate some viral buzz for its line of electronic document display systems, Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.—perhaps better known for its line of photocopiers—proposed October 23, 2012 as “National No-Print Day,” and lodged a request for people not to print (or photocopy) anything that day. “We know that approximately 336,000,000 sheets of paper are wasted daily—that’s more than 40,000 trees discarded every day in America,” stated a Toshiba spokesman.
RISI poked some fun at this ignorant canard, and others, in a June 18 item, but the trade group Printing Industries of America really laid into this assault on its members’ livelihood: “Toshiba claims that our industry has failed ‘to make the link between printing waste and its negative impacts on our landfills, natural resources, and the environment.’” Actually, said PIA’s Michael Makin, “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—so renewable that today, our country has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day, which was held more than 40 years ago.”
Subsequently, on June 26, Toshiba announced that it was cancelling the event, “in response to protests from the commercial paper and print industries,” adding that the “provocative name and message unfortunately led to a misconception of the campaign goals.” Toshiba’s attempt to clean up after its gaff may be reviewed here.