Publishing heavyweight Random House announced last week that it intends to increase the proportion of recycled paper in the majority of its books to at least 30 percent by 2010. Currently less than three percent of the paper used by the company is recycled. Company officials said that the change would cost several million dollars but would lead to the preservation of more than half a million trees a year.
"It’s balancing what’s environmentally right with practical publishing economics," said Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum, who added that the company could increase recycled content even more depending on the quality and quantity of paper available in coming years.
Random House, the nation’s largest publishing company, agreed to the move after extensive discussions with the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing recycling among publishers. While Random House is the first major U.S. publisher to make such a significant commitment, more than 100 small publishers have already significantly upped the recycled content in their products beyond the industry standard five percent thanks in part to pressure from GPI. "Our hope is that Random House’s example will pull in the other major multinational publishers," said GPI’s Tyson Miller.