Changing Paper Industry Factors to Watch For

By: Erik Kane | On: July 15, 2020

In a digital age where physical interactions with each other are few and far between – it seems like the number of threats to the paper industry are continuing to grow.  Though we’ve seen in the short-term that we’ll still rely heavily on paper products for things like toilet paper and packaging, the shift towards an entirely digital world seems to loom over the whole industry here in the US. Despite the domestic strength in the industry (the US is the #2 producer of paper worldwide), will we eventually walk away from paper in the US? As less-developed nations advance in technology and manufacturing, the continuing development and globalization of pulp and paper making continues to grow – as does global demand.  So, what are some of the factors on the horizon that will continue to affect the course of the pulp and paper industry?

Digital Screens

There are so many ways paper has been utilized to send a message: written letters, posters, signs, and even billboards! Intended for one recipient or thousands, paper has been the medium of choice for centuries.  Texting, digital signs, and even fully digital billboards are increasingly more and more common for getting our messages to one another.  The reliability, flexibility, and ease of use granted by digital displays has come a long way and has come to represent a powerful shift in how we reach each other – it’s only a matter of time before signage is completely digitized!


Electronic paper is a new technology that’s making its way from science fiction into everyday reality.  Touchable screens and forms have made filling out information and making transactions much easier and faster than ever before.  Take a trip to the grocery store for example: using a credit card is instantaneous, the signature is saved at the POS without ever changing hands, and the records of the transaction are much easier to track!  This has so many implications – printing less paper, less margin of error, less technical issues with printing, and less costs associated with paperwork.

Digital Filing (aka The Cloud)

Storage of information has always taken up physical space…but digital filing systems like The Cloud have made the world of storage completely different.  Where consumers and businesses once had to fill entire rooms with paper records to keep track of customers, transactions, taxes, and all manner of routine functions – the sight of a filing cabinet is becoming less and less common. Digital information storage is faster to organize and review, is more reliable than physical paper – and it takes up a lot less room!

Reusable Items

Single-use items were a popular consumer solution for many years (paper plates, paper cups, paper bags, plastic straws etc.) – and are still used by many businesses as well, but the impact on the environment caused by many of these products has become more prevalent as time goes on.  As a result, consumers and businesses alike are switching to alternatives that are fully-reusable or more recyclable than the single-use items of the past.

We Still Need Paper

Being aware of these changing times will help the industry and its consumers to change and address these concerns and trends as they develop – but we still need many of the same paper products that we’ve always relied on…today! Even though there is a shift away from paper as the primary medium – studies like this one show that Millennials may actually trust information more when it’s physically printed than when it’s hosted online, and that there’s still tremendous value in a printed book.

Making paper is an intensive industrial process, and Hose Master has provided high quality hose and expansion joint solutions for the paper industry for many years.  If you have questions or need assistance with a paper industry application, please reach out to us at 216-481-2020 or and we will be glad to assist you!