German publishers asked to open a new chapter on World Forest Day

More than a billion books were printed in Europe’s largest book market in 2008 – most of them first editions. That’s more than 10 books for every German. But the good news for publishers isn’t so great for the environment. Increasingly, books sold in Germany are being produced in Asia, where the paper is often sourced from virgin tropical rain forest. The German branch of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) recently tested a number of German children’s books, and found that a staggering 40 percent contained significant traces of tropical wood that is only found in virgin forest. That’s not just bad news for endangered species like Orangutans, which are gradually being deprived of their habitat. It’s also disappointing news for efforts to tackle climate change. Deforestation currently accounts for over 15 percent of humans’ contribution to greenhouse gases, and halting the loss of the world’s forests is a relatively straight forward way of reducing emissions. According to the WWF, the only way for consumers to avoid colluding with forest destruction is to buy books printed on recycled paper or paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The good news is that some of Germany’s biggest book publishers are trying to lead the way. The bad news is their suppliers can’t keep up. A lack of certified paper is a common problem facing other publishers who want to make the change,,5366340,00.html


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