Media & The Environment

Why is it important?

Print and paper is used by news media publishers to produce their print titles.  Newsprint is uncoated paper, made out of mechanical pulp or waste paper, which is used to produce newspapers. Nowadays people realise that newspapers are not responsible for rainforest depletion. The hardwoods from tropical rainforests are simply not suitable for newsprint production.

In fact, newsprint is an environmentally sound, renewable resource which comes from managed softwood coniferous forests, mainly in North America and Europe. Here, for every tree cut down, two or three more are planted. Between 2005 and 2015 European forests grew by 44,160 sqkm, an area larger than Switzerland (Two Sides analysis of UN FAO data 2016).   


The industry has a voluntary agreement with the government on the recycled content of UK newspapers.  In 1991, the UK publishers set a target of achieving 40 per cent recycled content in newspapers by the year 2000. The industry met this target four years ahead of schedule. 

In 2018, the recycled paper content of UK newspapers was 69.2 per cent. The national average recycling figure now appears prominently in all major newspapers, national and regional, along with the industry's recycling logo.Newspapers Support Recycling


In fact, newsprint is an environmentally sound, renewable resource which comes from managed softwood coniferous forests.

Inform and educate the public about the true facts of the use of print and paper.

Current situation

The NMA is an advocate of responsible production and use of print and paper by news media publishers and of the voluntary producer agreement between the press industry and the government, which has been highly effective. The NMA would oppose any changes to this at a UK or European level.  There is also a need to inform and educate the public about the true facts of the use of print and paper.

What is the NMA doing about it?

The NMA works to highlight the environmental credentials of its member publishers and their commitment to meeting targets for the recycled content of newsprint in their publications.  

The newspaper and magazine industry has worked with Two Sides - a pan European body which promotes responsible production and use of print and paper – on advertising campaigns highlighting the effectiveness and sustainability of the medium. Written in collaboration with Two Sides, NMA has published a booklet, available by contacting the NMA, which aims to provide news media publishers with relevant and balanced information about the sustainability of print and paper.