Today’s digital world has created less need for regular old-fashioned office paper. More and more people are relying on digital communications alone and the need for printed correspondence has slowly been in decline over the last few years.
Take a look around you at any public place, how many people do you see reading from a book, writing in a notebook, or dealing with a large bulky newspaper? Most everyone has their smartphone or tablet in their hand and that is all they need for any type of reading enjoyment or getting their local news, such as the final scores of their favorite sports teams games and most all other happenings around town.
According to the Director of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, Robert Izlar, “The demand for commercial paper is on the decline due to a younger generation’s lack of using print and writing as their main form of communication. My generation, the ‘baby boomers’, printed everything,” added Mr. Izlar who is also a former director of the Georgia Forestry Association.
Nowadays, a ticket to a concert or even a receipt has become electronic, sent to your email or saved on your smartphone, with the QR code being used for verify our reservations and appointments, instead of the old familiar paper card or receipt.
Very few people now file their dreaded annual income taxes on paper. The IRS encourages us to file electronically and get our refunds back quicker.
More and more it looks like paper is on the decline. Is it really a wonder that paper producing, Georgia-Pacific has decided to close down their commercial paper machines and associated supporting units at Port Hudson, Louisiana?
Karen Cole, spokesperson for Georgia Pacific, said, “People aren’t using much office paper anymore, and when the company looked at the cost of sustaining operations long-term in a declining market it wasn’t viable to continue production of commercial paper.”
Operations of the commercial paper processing unit will slowly cease and finally shut down sometime around Mid-March. Approximately 650 jobs will be redacted by the closure of the commercial paper processing unit and its supporting assets in Port Hudson, Louisiana, as well as about 40 sales jobs located in the Atlanta office.
But it seems paper demand isn’t completely gone yet. Tissue and specialty paper products are staying in robust deman. Georgia Pacific will continue to operate and produce its premium paper and towel processing machines, retaining 300 employees to run the very successful retail Consumer Products Group out of the Port Hudson, Louisiana mill.