Rubbish green policy

We received not one but two of these 4-inch wheely bins in the CR office today. The tiny bins came in direct mailers from one of London’s free newspapers, thelondonpaper, as part of a campaign conceived to promote the fact that the paper is “always printed on 100% recycled paper with ink that’s kinder to the environment”…

Having an environmentally friendly printing policy is, of course, highly commendable – although pretty much all of newsprint paper these days is made from recycled paper. According to Friends of the Earth, wood fibre (necessary to make paper) can normally only be recycled up to five times due to damage experienced to the fibre. So, unless the quantity of newsprint used each year worldwide declines to reflect the lost/damaged fibre, a certain amount of new (virgin) fibre is required each year globally, even if individual newsprint mills may continue to use 100% recycled fibre.

Bearing this in mind, thelondonpaper’s environmental fanfare seems a little ridiculous. Printing huge quantities of newspaper week in, week out is never going to be an environmentally friendly endeavour. And besides, isn’t adding who-knows-how-many of these promotional plastic bins to the world’s stock of non-biodegradable polypropylene matter simply adding insult to injury?

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