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There’s so much to learn to be green

  • April 25th, 2008

I’m told the government planned a bells and whistles launch last October of a website promoting paper saving. They thought it would be easy. Now it is planned for August this year, and looks suspiciously like one of the many exercises timed solely to exploit the Electoral Finance Act’s muzzling of non-government parties.

It will still be pre-election propaganda, but I understand that not all of the timing is for political gain. They’ve found paper saving issues to be much harder than they thought.

 Last Wednesday evening H Clark cut the ribbon at the formal opening of  GEON HIGHBROOK in Auckland, the largest sheet-fed printing site in New Zealand.

She talked about sustainability. 

Paper is a popular target. People know they throw away paper. They’re pre-conditioned to feel it is wasteful. Paper and plastic bags may not be a rational priority for a person with genuine care about the environment, because the gains are trivial and the costs large, in comparison with say forgoing one plane trip. Still, in terms of raising consciousness of waste, paper and plastic recycling work well.

Govt Depts are now supposed only to use papers that have a minimum 3 Star rating ( legally sourced pulp, obtained from a sustainable forest and ECF, TCF or PCF bleached).

At Wednesday’s opening Ms Clark did not get a smooth hearing. Joan Grace, CEO of Print NZ in her speech  challenged Ms Clark to support the printing industry by stopping the around 10-15% of Government printing going off shore. Local printers claim that in China it can be printed on anything.

The recent FTA with China (mentioned by Ms Clark in her address) will presumably see a lot more printing going to China. 

Te Papa, which does a lot of printing, much of it outside New Zealand, may be relieved. The FTA could make it harder to order Te Papa to divert their substantial print orders back to New Zealand.

What August’s coming paper saving website will acheive then is anyone’s guess. I doubt we’ll see one obvious suggestion – stop the presses rolling hot with new rules and regulations.

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