One of the problems confronting ecologically aware (and maybe activist) book publishers is the tiny proportion of the world’s paper that is used for books (even the tiny proportion of paper used for printing which goes into books). However, every bit counts, and our smallness shouldn’t be allowed to be an argument for inaction.  Book Business brings us a story on Rainforest Action Network’s press release about their recent report “A new chapter for the publishing industry”. RAN has been working since 2010 to get publishers to avoid using paper incorporating fiber from endangered forests. The report gives a thorough roundup of progress, ending up with a review of paper policies at ten publishers (9 if you count Random House and Penguin as one). RAN is also lobbying the main pulp suppliers, and seems to be making some slight progress in getting them to modify their practices. (Industry practice in USA is admirably responsible.)

If you print books overseas you are going to use local paper sourcing. If you print in Indonesia, obviously the paper is going to contain fiber from Indonesian forests, which are among the world’s most endangered. The same is likely to be the case for books printed in China. More publishers are now insisting on their books containing no fibre from endangered forests, something which is obviously difficult to enforce. Some do fiber analysis on the books to check for marker fibers. Others rely on the assurances of their suppliers. Progress is being made, but we still have a long way to go.

Sumatran rain forest cleared for palm oil cultivation

Sumatran rain forest cleared for palm oil cultivation

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