The High Cost Of Printing [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Back when I worked in a government department in 2000, I tried to persuade the boss to switch to a paperless office. I was appalled at the amount of paper and ink that was being wasted and, being the filing clerk, I was getting the worst end of the deal. But back then, the idea of a paperless office was too radical. Everyone was chained to their printers and paper files, and before I could push the issue, I decided to leave my job.

Fast forward 12 years later, and the idea of going paper-free is not as crazy as it sounded more than a decade earlier. PDF usage is on the rise, note taking apps like Evernote are becoming more and more popular, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) makes turning everything digital into a feasible and productive idea.  Due to all these factors, my printer has been sitting in the corner, choking on dust and being totally unloved for more than a year now. When I want to save something, I simply make a digital copy and store it either on my computer, put it in Evernote, or transfer it to my iPhone / iPad.  No longer am I tripping over stacks of paper.

But there are still companies who insist on printing, and that is where today’s infographic comes in, with some weekend stats crunching for you.  Did you know that between 1% and 3% of a company’s annual revenue is based on printing?  And there are inconveniences for those companies – the costs involved in paperjams and excessive use of color ink for a start.  Then there are the companies who go overboard with too many print materials – business cards, flyers, coupons, newspaper adverts…the list goes on.  In this day and age, a lot of these things are simply not needed – the paper versions anyway.

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Let us know in the comments what you think.  Do you or your company still go overboard when it comes to printing?  Or are you or your company completely paperless?  Do you think it’s time to completely abandon print material such as business cards, and go to digital equivalents?

Click on the infographic for a larger, clearer version

Infographic Source:
Image Source: Print button via Shutterstock

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11 Comments - Write a Comment


Yang Yang Li

Is it comforting or disturbing to know that I have one of the most expensive liquids in the world sitting on my desk?


Joel Lee

I haven’t owned a personal printer in over 10 years. It almost makes me sick that ink is more expensive than gas and milk by a huge factor. But I must admit, reading and editing is so much easier on paper than screen!

Shakirah Faleh Lai

You’re right, reading on paper is easier I always miss important details when working on screen rather than paper.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Agreed. I do revisions of my writings with my trusty real paper notebook. I can carry it everywhere without worrying about battery life. It’s more common that people use injected ink, not the original cartridges due to its cost, but doing so ends up with less quality prints and paper jams. I prefer going to cyber cafe which offers printing than buying a machine and deal with the maintenance myself. Too much hassle in the long run.

Shakirah Faleh Lai

Sooo true.

Kathy Blackmore

“I can carry it everywhere without worrying about battery life.”

That’s such a good point. And while it is true that ink and paper are costly, so it’s energy.

Paper can be obtained by renewable resources as well (question is are we managing our trees well enough?)

Energy is obtained in large part from oil, which is a finite resource. Then again, in order to make paper, you need some sort of energy…

Kath @ Cartridge Shop

Boni Oloff

I really agree, I am buying the books from Amazon to get the phisical book even i have the ebook.
Especially when i want to read serious stuff, like programming book.


Harshal Warkhede

totally agree



I agree with Joel. I have to print those documents which come for my review. Rather than burning my eyes in front of the screen, I could review on paper.


Mac Witty

I would live to say: Lets go total paperless!
My experience is that people (myself included) do no read as good on screen than on paper. This is independent of age
I think screen reading is okay for less important stuff but paper is still king when it come to important things.
After being in a committee for hiring staff I’ll say: Do always print and go though your cv!


Ritwick Saikia

Paper is irreplaceable, but I do agree that many of the things that we print just because we can are unnecessary. If we all printed just what we really need then consumption would go down without any loss. And for archival purposes digital copies are much handier.

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