Monday, June 09, 2008

Shrink - addressing the madness of over-consumption of paper

This is how much paper an average British person gets through in a year: more than 200kg, much of which is completely unnecessary. Americans use even more: almost 300kg each, which is six times the world average.

The launch of a new website today highlights the issue of paper waste and gives people the chance to pledge to cut their paper use. The site invites commitments to reduce unnecessary and wasteful paper use, with suggestions on how to limit all those leaflets, catalogues, tissues, photocopies and packaging, and it tallies up the trees, carbon, water and pollution saved by the cumulative pledges. Trot over there from here and be among the first to make a pledge!

Why? Here are three reasons.

  • Almost half (42%) of all industrially-logged trees end up as paper and too much of that logging is destructive.
  • Globally, paper production and disposal releases three times as much climate change emissions as global aviation.
  • Irresponsible production causes negative impacts on biodiversity and communities as well as human rights abuses in many pulp and paper producing region
The Shrink website is part of a project that will target big companies as well as individuals, encouraging them to make more efficient use of paper. It is run by the European Environmental Paper Network, more than 50 environmental non-governmental organisations that all share a common vision for transforming the paper industry.

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