Sunday, December 13, 2009

Can't we stop it with the phone books?

Yesterday we hunkered down inside against the driving rain, glad to be warm and dry. Eventually I had to pick up some groceries -- and was disgusted to nearly stumble over this:

I don't even remember the last time I used a phone book. But once a year, one or two or sometimes three of these things appear on our doorstep. This morning, between episodes of drizzle, I jogged through the Mission, passing hundreds of yellow and orange lumps.

Okay, I know that some people make a living assembling, printing and distributing these vast hunks of newsprint. And perhaps a very few people still use them. But can't we make them an opt-in item rather than unwelcome litter?

Apparently a couple of state legislators have been trying, at least in regard the White Pages. Their proposed law prompted the San Francisco Chronicle to collect the numbers on the problem:

  • 147 million directories distributed each year in the United States.
  • 5 million trees destroyed.
  • $17 million in recycling costs.
  • 16 percent of White Pages recycled each year.
  • 660,000 tons in the waste stream.
One action we can all take is to sign the Ban the Phone Book petition which calls for an all opt-in distribution system for this instant recycling.


OM said...

Done. It's nothing but a waste of money and resources.

Kay Dennison said...


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