Demand for Recycled Grows
The drive for recycled paper in the book industry seems to be picking up speed.
Twenty-five U.S. publishers have signed a letter of intent to begin phasing in post-consumer recycled paper over the next three to five years.
Indeed, publishers throughout North America are beginning to take strong stands on recycled paper. Canadian firms, such as Broadview Press of Calgary, Alberta, are making similar commitments.
The U.S. effort is spearheaded by the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a non-profit effort dedicated to preserving forests and natural resources.
"We're trying to mobilize the book publishing sector," says Tyson Miller, program director for the project. "They're major users of paper. We hope to show manufacturers and suppliers that there are markets for recycled paper."
The Green Press Initiative is a program of the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, a 20-year old conservation organization based in Encinitas, Calif.
"Publishers are progressive," Miller says. "They're involved with spreading information and knowledge."
The 25 progressive publishers who joined the Green Press Initiative include Lantern Books, Island Press, Parallax Press, Chelsea Green, Cornell University Press, New World Library, Baker Book Group, South End Press, Weatherhill, Wisdom Publications, World Resources Institute, and Council Oak Books.
The publishers have outlined a three- to five-year period for converting their products to post-consumer recycled fibers, Miller says.
According to the timeline, publishers will begin using 30% post-consumer recycled paper on selected titles. In the second year, fully 25% of the publishers' titles will be printed on recycled paper. By the fifth year, virtually all titles will be printed using recycled paper.
While small and independent publishers are signing up in ever larger numbers, not one of the major trade publishers has signed on.