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 2020, European forests grew by 58,390 square kilometres  – that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day. (Two Sides analysis of UN FAO data 2005 - 2020).   


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 2021 the recycled paper content of UK newspapers was 65.7%. 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.


Climate Change and Environmental Initiatives

National, regional and local news publishers also continue to launch campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness of climate change, to support environmental causes and encourage debate. Examples of initiatives from across the news media industry can be viewed below:


Media & Environment News

Ad Net Zero Summit Programme Announced
Ad Net Zero has announced the programme for its global summit to mark the first anniversary of the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA’s initiative to bring  ad operations to net zer...

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News Brands Join Ad Net Zero 2030 Initiative
National news brands have joined agencies and brands from all sectors of the UK economy in signing up to the Advertising Association’s Ad Net Zero initiative. Ad Net Zero aims to cut c...

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Two Weeks Until Journalism Matters Campaign
Two weeks remain until Journalism Matters, the news media industry’s annual campaign to highlight the importance of trusted journalism, kicks off. The annual weeklong campaign, which i...

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Peers Call For Transparency On Environment Bill
Peers have called for transparency protections to be written into new legislation to prevent a chill on the reporting of environmental issues, such as the investigations of public bodies for pote...

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News Publishers Continue Environmental Initiatives
National, regional and local newspapers are continuing a range of initiatives to support climate change and environmental causes. The Daily Mail have again launched their ‘Great Britis...

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