The negative effects of the paper industry on the environment

ClickCard has developed two solutions to mitigate the effects of the paper industry, avoiding the printing of business cards. Check them out.

João Fiche


João Fiche


September 13, 2022

Malefactors of the paper industry

It is no secret that the production of paper takes a toll on the environment. Trees are chopped down to make pulp for paper, which takes away vital oxygen and contributes to global warming. The production of paper also uses a lot of water and creates toxic waste. The paper industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Every year, it pumps out millions of tons of toxic chemicals and uses up billions of gallons of water. And all this just to make a product that we use for a few minutes before throwing it away, or in the case of business cards, 9 out of every 10 ends up in the trash.

It's no secret that paper production harms the environment. Trees are cut down to make pulp for paper, which takes away vital oxygen and contributes to global warming. Paper production also consumes a lot of water and generates toxic waste. The paper industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Every year, it pumps out millions of tons of toxic chemicals and consumes billions of gallons of water. And all this just to make a product that we use for a few minutes before throwing it away, or in the case of business cards, 9 out of 10 of them end up in the trash.

Printed business cards can have a number of negative effects on the environment, mainly due to the materials used in production, the manufacturing process and disposal. Here are some of the negative impacts:

  1. Paper use and deforestation: Most business cards are made from paper, which contributes to the deforestation of natural forests. According to the Environmental Paper Network, approximately 40% of wood cut globally is used to produce paper , and paper production is a leading cause of deforestation worldwide.
  2. Use of natural resources: In addition to wood, paper production consumes large amounts of water and energy. For example, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), producing one ton of virgin paper can require up to 24 trees and consume around 26,000 liters of water .
  3. Carbon emissions: The paper production process and printing of business cards can generate greenhouse gas emissions , contributing to climate change. This is mainly due to the use of non-renewable energy, such as electricity from fossil fuels, and the transportation of materials.
  4. Use of chemicals: Paper production often involves the use of harmful chemicals, such as chlorine and other bleaching agents , which can contaminate water and soil if not treated properly.
  5. Solid waste: Many business cards end up becoming solid waste after use. If not properly recycled, these cards can end up in landfills, contributing to the accumulation of waste and soil pollution.

Globally, it is estimated that more than 10 billion business cards are printed each year , which represents a significant impact on the environment in terms of consumption of natural resources, energy and waste production. Therefore, adopting more sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials, reducing waste and digital printing, can help mitigate these negative impacts.

1. Why paper is bad for the environment

Making paper from trees is bad for the environment for several reasons. Firstly, deforestation caused by paper production removes vital oxygen from the air and contributes to global warming. Secondly, making paper requires a lot of water, which can lead to shortages in drier areas. It is estimated that in order to produce a single sheet of paper, it is necessary between 2 and 13 liters of water, depending on the mill used.

Thirdly, the production of paper creates vast amounts of toxic waste, which can contaminate waterways and soil. Finally, the manufacture of paper is one of the most polluting industries in the world, responsible for millions of tons of toxic chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere every year and paper is responsible to fill about 26% of all landfills in the world. All of these factors underscore the need to find more environmentally friendly ways of producing paper, or finding alternatives nowadays that diminish the use of it.

2. How to reduce your use of paper

One way to reduce your use of paper is, if you have to get stuff printed, print on both sides of the sheet whenever possible. You can also buy recycled paper, which is made from post-consumer waste.

You can also take steps to reduce the amount of paper you use in your everyday life, for example, you can opt to receive bills and other documents electronically, rather than through the mail. You can also make a habit of not printing out every email, recipe or webpage that you come across. By following these simple practices, you can help reduce the environmental impact of the paper industry.

Best ways to use paper

3. Alternatives to paper

The negative effects of the paper industry on the environment has sparked a movement towards finding Alternatives to paper. There are a number of different alternatives to paper that can be used for everything from writing to printing.

1. Electronic Documents

One way to reduce your use of paper is to switch to electronic documents. Many businesses and institutions now send bills, business cards, statements and other documents electronically. You can also save electronic versions of important files, such as tax returns and recipes, to your computer or phone. And if you use ClickCard app, you can have your digital business card always with you. This not only reduces your use of paper, but it also helps you stay organized.

2. Recycled Paper

Another option for reducing your environmental impact is to buy recycled paper. Recycled paper is made from post-consumer waste, which means that it is made from materials that have already been used. This helps reduce the need for new trees to be chopped down for pulp, and it also helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

3. Reusable Writing Materials

Another alternative to using paper is to use reusable writing materials, such as notebooks and sketchbooks. These can be used over and over again, which helps reduce the amount of paper that is produced. You can also find pens, pencils and markers made from recycled materials or biodegradable materials such as bamboo."

4. Bamboo

Bamboo is a sustainable material that can be used for a variety of products, including paper. Bamboo grows quickly and doesn't require the use of pesticides or herbicides. It also doesn't need much water to grow. And once it's harvested, bamboo can regrow quickly. This makes it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paper.

5. Hemp

Hemp is another sustainable material that can be used to make paper. Hemp grows quickly and doesn't require the use of pesticides or herbicides. It also doesn't need much water to grow. And like bamboo, hemp can regrow quickly after it's harvested. This makes it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paper.

6. Fungi

Fungi can also be used to make paper. This may seem strange, but fungi are actually a very good source of cellulose, which is the main component of paper. In fact, fungi are already being used to make paper in some parts of the world. And because they don't need sunlight to grow, they can be grown indoors. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option than trees.

7. Banana Leaves

Banana leaves can also be used to make paper. This is an especially good option if you live in a tropical climate, as banana leaves are readily available. And like other plant-based options, banana leaves don't require the use of pesticides or herbicides. They also don't need much water to grow.

NFC as a digital business card

4. Program to make business card

When the option is to turn what was once printed into digital, some applications stand out in this functionality.

In order to make life easier, cooperate with the environment and make information even more accessible, ClickCard created an app that consists of creating, storing and sharing digital business cards.

By transforming your printed business card into digital, you will be avoiding excessive and, in most cases, unnecessary paper production.

Thus, it is worth analyzing the cost savings, in addition to the functional proposal of an interactive and customizable digital business card.

As there are those who like and value the material, the quality and the communicational power of physical paper, ClickCard sought to keep this not only in its digital business cards, but also in its NFC cards.

How to make a digital business card

The application for digital business card created by ClickCard allows the user to customize the layout and insert in the card the contact information that he wants.

In view of this, we are faced not only with technical options for the features, but also in the construction of a custom layout.

Thus, priority is given to the visual identity desired by the user and the sophistication found in a printed business card, valuing the experience of professionals at the time of interactivity.

With ClickCard there are several ways to create a card. There is the possibility of creating a free business card, which provides the user with a template with basic information, such as: email, location, cell phone, website and social networks. In it, the user can also customize name, title, logo, background and other elements.

The creation of a free card in the ClickCard app is based on a model already produced and made available in the app.

Another way to create your card with ClickCard is by contacting the company's creative team.

With it, the customer can request the model with the graphic pieces he wants, having the option to choose all the details present on his business card, from colors and typography to contact information.

There are also pre-formatted paid templates, which guarantee a more sophisticated and well-crafted card. In them, users can edit and add any contact information.

To learn more, visit the ClickCard website.


In addition to the digital business card maker, other data monitoring and contact organization tools are available in the app, providing a better view of the business card's performance.

Anyone who creates a digital business card in the ClickCard app has access to its engagement metrics, such as: calendar tools, scanner, personalized and proximity search.

As a result, ClickCard generates not only your business card, but also a virtual starting point to provide a better result in your networking.

NFC card

Como outra forma de evitar o desgaste de papel, uma das soluções ecológicas da ClickCard foi a criação de um cartão NFC. Nele, a partir da aproximação do cartão no leitor de qualquer celular, a pessoa tem acesso ao seu cartão de visita digital ou o link para qual deseja encaminhá-la. 

Como bastante dos profissionais prezam pela experiência do compartilhamento de cartão físico, o cartão NFC foi a solução encontrada para que a experiência permanecesse sem que o proprietário tenha que fazer cópias e, ao mesmo tempo, ter em mãos um cartão que pode ser customizado a qualquer momento. 

O cartão NFC possibilita que o profissional carregue consigo um cartão físico o qual, caso precise de alteração, não tem a necessidade de novas impressões. Por ser um cartão eletrônico, as mudanças nos encaminhamentos de um NFC são todas feitas digitalmente.

Além disso, a sua facilidade em compartilhar informações de conteúdo proporciona tanto para o receptor quanto para o destinatário uma boa imagem pelo fato de não proporcionar ruídos. Afinal, a eficiência e demonstração de conhecimento em novas tecnologias continua a ser um ponto primordial no networking.

Benefits of purchasing an NFC

NFC is a technological, economic and ecological solution in which the quality of the experience of those involved is maintained without the need to cooperate with deforestation.

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” in its entirety. Initially used for making payments in small amounts, the function has become very useful in sharing contacts in networking. So, just by approaching a mobile device, your connections can save your contact in their diaries.

There are many benefits to purchasing an NFC card. First, it is a customizable physical product. That is, even after printing it, you can change your destination location without having to spend paper or money to make another one.

It also maintains the default for those who are attached to physical cards. In addition to being able to share it, you maintain sophistication with whatever printed material you want.

By creating an NFC card with ClickCard, the user also secures their digital business card. In this way, the owner can choose to link his card to NFC or any other link in his domain.

Even if the receiver doesn't have the app, they can access the user's card through a personalized online link.

Business card accesses and shares, even if external, are recorded in the app's metrics section. In this way, the user has information on where the card was accessed and what the user accessed when consulting it.

Download the ClickCard App

To download the ClickCard app, simply access it from the Apple and Android store. In it you can register and have paid and free digital business card templates available.

If you want to make a personalized quote for a business card with an NFC card, or just one of the two, just contact the ClickCard team through the website, social networks or email.

For more product details, visit the ClickCard website. You can also learn more about the features by visiting our blog.

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