"Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence
Courtesy of BoSacks and The Precision Media Group
America's Oldest e-newsletter est.1993


BoSacks Speaks Out:  There is a debate that is going on in our industry about sustainability that seems like it is mostly for the undereducated and terribly misinformed.  If you really understand "green", which most of us don't, it is terribly wrong for the green wanna be's to insist that recycled paper be forced into all virgin pulp for a proper carbon footprint. It is actually in most cases counter-productive for sensible sustainability.  The true resolution of this problem, which is admittedly hard to sell, is because of the misinformation and noble knee jerk reactions of the " I wanna do some good, so I want recycled paper in everything crowd."


WRONG!  Forcing recycled paper into the virgin fiber process of paper making is in most cases counter-productive to a successful green footprint.  It takes more carbon energy to introduce into the substrate what is not necessary or efficient to be there.  I am very much for recycling and real sustainability, but I am not an advocate of idiotic programs for the sake of the uneducated who insist the something must be done regardless of the true science.  There are great and wonderful uses of recycled paper, some of which is in printed products and each day science is creating more creative uses for the renewable product.  If we are worried about a carbon footprint, we shouldn't be using more energy instead of less just so we can put a label on something, which gives the false impression of helping the planet.  


The amount of paper in the landfills or out of the landfills is a completely different question. The biggest reason landfills have paper isn't because mills won't use it.  The real reason is because people and some businesses are lazy and don't intend to be part of the solution; they are actually part of the problem.


The answer to all this is education, legislation and common sense.  We all know that common sense isn't that common, so that leaves us with education and legislation.  I have little faith that either is going to happen any time soon, so we will be left with completely wrong headed groups demanding that we need recycled paper in every magazine, when it just isn't true.  That logic is a public relations move that confuses or misleads the public about the realities and truth of what a green business and a green publishing house is all about. 


It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it?

L. M. Montgomery (1874 - 1942), Anne of Green Gables, 1908


Green Groups Turn the Heat Down on National Geographic But Up on KFC

By D. Eadward Tree



The environmental group that aimed a "Practice What You Print" campaign against National Geographic for not using recycled paper says it is now engaged in "productive discussions" with the magazine.

Frank Locantore, director of the Better Paper Project, revealed the discussions in a comment today on Dead Tree Edition's article, What Exactly Is Environmentally Preferable Paper? Acknowledging that there is more to "green" paper than recycled content, he called for "a broad cross-section of stakeholders" to establish measurements that will lead to making paper more environmentally friendly.

Here is Frank's comment in its entirety:

I've wanted to post a comment to this blog for a long time now. But, there is so much here to comment on that it has been hard to figure out where to begin. First, I want to thank DTE for repeatedly trying to get a conversation going about this. My hope is that the conversation finds a different venue than on-line commenting. It is really difficult to substantially and meaningfully discuss this issue without the benefit of being in the same room with one another.


My three comments are these:

1. As the Director for the Green America Better Paper Project, I'd like to clarify - we are NOT protesting National Geographic. We are actually in some productive discussions with them and hope to be able to report out on the results in 2012.


2. I don't understand the claim that paper is not going to landfills when over 25% of landfills consist of paper, in fact, that is the largest single component of landfills. One could argue that the increasing demand for recycled paper has made paper's percentage of landfill waste decrease in the past decade. Something we should all be proud of.


3. I agree that there is no simple answer to the question of what paper is "greenest." However, I don't think that it is an impossible question to answer. Can we not work collaboratively as industry, NGOs, govt's, and the public to create a list of metrics that can help determine the environmental "health" of paper? My doctor checks my cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, etc. to give me an analysis of how healthy I am. Can't we do something similar for paper?


Is there any appetite to convene a broad cross-section of stakeholders to discuss and determine metrics that will continuously improve the environmental characteristics of paper? I hope so.

Just two days ago, Greenpeace activists hung ahuge banner showing a Sumatran tiger and the message "KFC: Stop Trashing My Home" on the fast-food chain's corporate headquarters.

Dogwood Alliance was already using itsKentucky Fried Forests campaign to criticize KFC's use of International Paper food-packaging products that allegedly result from IP''s destruction of Southern U.S. forests.

Now Greenpeace is upping the ante, claiming "The Colonel's been keeping his chicken fresh with packaging made from rainforests" because KFC also buys products from Asia Pulp and Paper, which has been widely criticized for destroying Indonesian rainforests.

 Both NGOs are having fun with riffs on KFC's fast-food packaging. Dogwood Alliance has created a mock Kentucky Fried Forests chicken bucket depicting a chainsaw-wielding Colonel Sanders. The bucket is shown on "Get Forest Destruction For Free!" coupons that activists have handed out at KFC locations.

Greenpeace this week released a series of videos showing animated KFC food packages revolting against the company's paper-purchasing practices. In one, the Colonel drawls, "So what if I make a few tigers homeless."



"The Industry that Vents Together
Stays Together"
Responses to all Articles and Bo-Rants are greatly encouraged
and may be included in " BoSacks Readers Speak Out"  =======================================
All news items and the various opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the opinion of, nor in agreement with the opinions of BoSacks. They are just interesting thoughts and other opinions that BoSacks thinks you should know about. 

After all, as the Japanese proverb goes: 
"If you believe everything you read, perhaps you better not read." 

"Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence:  
Courtesy of  The Precision Media Group.
 Print, Publishing and Media Consultants 
PO Box 53, Copake  NY  12516 
Contact - Robert M. Sacks  518-329-7994



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