COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Star authors pressure publishers to go green

Top authors including JK Rowling and Helen Fielding are backing a new campaign by Greenpeace UK to convince the publishing industry to stop printing on non-recycled paper.

A report commissioned by the charity has revealed that almost all UK books are printed on new paper, some of which comes from protected forests.

The Publishers Project campaign urges British publishers to use recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper to help conserve forests in Finland, Russia, and Canada from illegal logging.

Currently, paper derived from sustainable sources is more expensive than virgin paper and difficult to obtain in large quantities, because there is so little demand from publishers.

The project is part of Greenpeace's global Save or Delete initiative, which was launched in 2002 to save the world's remaining ancient forests and the animals, plants and people who depend on their existence to survive.

"Save or Delete has two aims - to discover and expose companies and individuals using wood from ancient forests, and to promote forest-friendly solutions to encourage people to stop buying this wood," said Belinda Fletcher, forest campaigner at Greenpeace UK.

"The Publishers Project is an important component of Save or Delete as it targets an industry that uses an enormous amount of virgin paper and offers a practical alternative that could have huge environmental benefits."

Greenpeace UK launched the project after an alliance of Canadian environmental charities, including Greenpeace Canada, persuaded 35 publishers to use sustainably-produced paper. Greenpeace Canada has estimated that by printing the Canadian edition of the latest Harry Potter book on recycled paper, the publisher helped save at least 39,000 trees.

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