n. A time when global paper production and usage reaches a maximum, after which it declines irreversibly.
And yet in 2013, despite positive growth overall, the world reached ‘Peak Paper’: global paper production and consumption reached its maximum, flattened out, and is now falling. A prediction that was over-hyped in the 20th century and then derided in the early 2000s — namely, the Paperless Office — is finally being realised.
At the end of the day the fact that we hit Peak Paper shows that we can’t go back. We can’t return to a primitive time without electronics.
Many developed markets experienced “peak paper” during the first years of this century marking the end of decades of stable growth and the beginning of economic struggle and industry consolidation.
Peak paper! ebook sales overtake hardcopy.
What matters is quality writing and reporting; flapping our arms over how it’s delivered is a distraction. Peak paper has come and gone. Newspapers need to accept that, and focus on what we need to do to make quality journalism possible in a post-print world.