Posted by keith on March 15th, 2010
30,000 tonnes of phonebooks in the UK alone, and perhaps 100,000 tonnes more in the USA…every year! That’s an awful lot of paper; an awful lot of forest being ripped up; a huge amount of energy being used to pulp, print, distribute and (possibly) recycle the books. What a pointless waste, especially considering each of us probably use our regular phone book, what, once or twice a year?
Anyhow, this isn’t just a rant about phonebooks; it’s far more general than that – it’s about bullshit statements of “environmental” intent. I was looking through our phone book on the off-chance that it would tell me how to stop our phone number coming up on people’s displays – of course I couldn’t find any such useful information, given that it’s now virtually all adverts – and I stumbled across this statement on page 7 of our local edition, entitled “Environmental Policy”.
Here’s what it says:
As you would expect from BT, we strive to act in a responsible way at every stage in producing and distributing The Phone Book. This includes reviewing the type of paper and ink we use through to how the Book is printed and distributed.
The Phone Book is completely recyclable and can be used to produce more paper or shredded for use in animal bedding or loft insulation and much more. even the ink can be recycled to be used as dye for road surfaces!
I didn’t need to add my own explanation mark after that last stupid statement, they did it for me: as though they knew I would have the word “WHAT?” in my head, reading the absurd contradiction between being “green” and supplying dyes for road surfaces. And what about the classic “recyclable” claim? Yep, you know the one: it’s recyclable but we’re not going to tell you how much pristine forest was cut down to make it.
“Can be used”, “strive to act”, “reviewing” – BT love spewing out the weasel words so we think better of our beloved slab of paper. How apt, for such a weasely (apologies to proper weasels) company that they suggest using it for animal bedding. Is that before or after we use it to wipe our arses with?