Friday, July 6, 2007

Is Harry Potter green?

Only two weeks to the release of the last Harry Potter book. (Full disclosure: I'll be buying one and reading it non-stop the day it's released.) But with all those books printed and shipped to all those bookstores around the world, should we be considering the environmental impact as well as the educational and entertainment value of the event? Over at the Britannica Blog, a posting asks How green is this Harry Potter?

In March Scholastic announced its plans for what it called “a historic commitment” to the environment. For its first print run, Scholastic said, 12 million copies of The Deathly Hallows would use paper with “a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste (pcw) fiber.” In addition,

65% of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the global standard-setter for responsible forest management.

Scholastic also announced that it would produce 100,000 copies of a “deluxe edition” that would use 100 percent pcw fiber for its 784 pages of text and FSC-certified paper for its jacket.

As a large collective of institutional purchasers, I wonder what leverage libraries might have in convincing publishers to increase the use of recycled material in their products.

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