Scanning and document management platform iScanner has surveyed US consumers on their use of paper.

Paper overuse was identified as fairly or highly important by only 31% of respondents. Americans pay more attention to problems with water pollution (42%) and air pollution (40%).

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But for the 60% who are attempting to use less paper in their daily lives, packaging was revealed as the hardest area to address.

Avoiding the use of paper cups was highlighted as particularly challenging for consumers. In late 2023, the NextGen Consortium released a report with recommendations to address paper cup waste across the value chain.

Paper is regularly used as an alternative to plastic materials in packaging, making it more difficult for consumers to limit their paper consumption.

NextGen Consortium advises brands to source recycled paper content when procuring cups and other packaging.

According to iScanner’s research, the easiest areas to reduce paper were identified as filling out forms and applications, and editing and signing contracts, invoices and other business documents.

The most common and effective methods US consumers employ include scanning and sharing documents electronically, printing on both sides of the paper, and utilising electronic tools for note-taking.