Have we consigned recycling, reusing and restoring to the shadows of our mind? Or do we actively pursue environment friendly practices as doing our bit towards reducing the damage on this planet we call home? How often do we take a conscious decision to buy a book, magazine or any publication that has been printed on partly or fully recycled paper? How often do we notice whether the print or packaging that we consume is from a sustainable source let alone recycled matter? Lip service nevertheless, there is a general impression that sales of recycled sheets has declined in the last few years.
Partly responsible for this pattern of consumption is our preference for bright white paper over the greyer versions of recycled paper. A disturbing trend that seems to have arisen is rather than environmental concerns, what is the most cost effective way of producing a job? Often quality and brightness are bandied about as being the reason, when the actual reason is only the price.
Many sections within the industry are persuaded to believe that legislation can play a major role in increasing the use of recycled and sustainable products.
If local bodies encourage (read legislate) the use of recycled products in all official communication, it would go a long way in reducing the use of virgin fibre. Actively promoting recycling of used paper, ink cartridges, plastic bottles etc is another step in the right direction.
Shilpa Jasani is the editor of PrintWeek