Perceptions on the environmental responsibility of South African paper producers.
“Perceptions on the Environmental Responsibility of South African Paper Producers”, is a research topic that has been developed to understand if individuals consider the paper industry to have a positive or negative impact on the environment and natural resources. This follows from the increasing global focus that is placed on industry with regards to their impact on the environment and their contribution to climate change. The study aims to confirm if individuals associate the paper industry with deforestation, as a contributor to climate change, and as a sustainable industry. The study population was business executives in the Durban, KwaZulu Natal region, and a samples group chosen on a non-probability basis, from the database of the Durban Chamber of Commerce & Industry was selected, using the Krejcie and Morgan Model (1970). Questionnaires were submitted electronically, via Questionpro, to the selected targeted sample. One hundred and twelve respondents completed the survey with the data being suitable for further statistical analysis. The results were analysed in context of the objectives of the study that have been outlined. The outcome of the research highlighted that individuals do confirm paper to be an important commodity, but are of the perception that the South African paper producers are a major contributor to the degradation of the environment by both their impact on forestry as well as their contribution to climate change. Digital technology is also rated to be more environmentally friendly than paper, while paper recycling is considered as essential. The results also identified that the public are uninformed on the practices and initiatives of the industry and consider this to be due to poor communication from the industry. Recommendations that have risen from this study include the industry’s communication methods with the general public on its activities and sustainability practices, together with involvement with the public to improve on the recovery of paper waste. There have been some limitations to the study, such as the availability of data, from previous studies, on the topic as well as the slow rate of responses for data collection purposes, but none have obstructed the purpose or process of the research.