Join the Paper Chain

Share Our Love of Paper

Become inspired to enjoy paper and print in all its glory.

Consumers Want The Right To Choose web

Survey Reveals Consumers Want The Right To Choose How They Receive Their Communications

The recent research report from Two Sides Europe, the ‘Trend Tracker Survey 2023’, seeks to understand changing consumer perceptions towards print, paper and paper-based packaging, looking specifically at their environmental perceptions, reading habits, packaging preferences and attitudes towards tissue products.

Paper vs Digital Communications

Across Europe, an increasing number of brands and organisations are switching their customers from paper to digital communications for cost-saving reasons, but are using misleading, unsubstantiated environmental messaging as the justification. This is Greenwashing.

The Trend Tracker survey shows that over half (55%) of consumers agree that when a service provider wants to switch them from paper to electronic bills and statements because “it is better for the environment,” the real reason is to save costs. This increased from 49% in 2021. Even when consumers are forced to go digital, 62% agree (up from 54% in 2021) they should not be charged more for choosing a paper bill or statement.

The survey also revealed that 76% of European consumers (up from 74% in 2021) agree that they should have the right to choose how they receive communications, printed or electronically, from financial organisations and service providers. Ensuring choice not only supports consumer demand, but also ensures that those who are unable to access digital information are not disadvantaged.

Attitudes Towards Digital

The internet is having an impact on how we receive news and information, and the growing dependence on digital information brings a variety of challenges. The Trend Tracker survey reveals that consumers are concerned with the security of digital communications, and that ”digital downtime” is more important than ever.

56% of European consumers are increasingly concerned that personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged. 49% agree that they spend too much time on digital devices and 48% are concerned that the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health.

The majority of consumers assume that digital communications are environmentally friendly. However, the environmental impact of digital is all too often overlooked. The information and communications technology (ICT) industry accounts for 5% to 9% of electricity use, which equates to more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If left unchecked, the ICT footprint could increase to 14% of global emissions by 2040.1 In Europe, the print and paper sector is one of the lowest industrial greenhouse gas emitters at 0.8%.2


“Print and digital are often compared in a bid to decide which is best, but both channels are important and complement each other,” says Two Sides Europe Managing Director Jonathan Tame. “However, it’s important that consumers are not mislead into believing that digital communication is better for the environment than paper. That’s why Two Sides continues to engage organisations that are making misleading and unsubstantiated environmental claims such as “Go Green, Go Paperless” in a bid to encourage their customers to switch to digital communications. These statements are not just misleading but also are hugely damaging to an industry that employs 640,000 people in Europe (105,000 UK), in more than 112,000 businesses (7,400 UK).”

An executive summary of the Trend Tracker Survey 2023 was published in June and is available to industry stakeholders upon request.

To find out more about the Two Sides campaign and how you can become a supporter, visit

The Paper Fact File

Paper is one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!

Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!