The paper trail
Published: Thursday 2008-01-17.
When I grew up back in the 1980s, there was a lot of talk about the environment, just like it is now. But back then it was more about stuff close to us, for instance that the increasing use of paper was eating up our Swedish forests, and that the paper that was produced was being bleached with dangerous chemicals, whose spill products was poisoning our Swedish waters. I remember that this reasoning led to that the sale of both bleached paper and paper made of new fibre fell, in an article in the local newspaper back home I read that consumers for instance had almost stopped buying kitchen and toilet paper and paper handkerchief made from bleached paper and/or paper made from new fibres. I also remember that the drawing-books stopped having chalk white paper, and that the unbleached books had traces of being made from recycled paper.
Back to the present day, now people are again talking about the environment, but this time it is about the global warming and our global emissions and it seems as if we partly have forgotten about our local environment. When I went to the local grocery shop to buy paper handkerchieves I was suddenly noticed that the chain’s own low-price brand only had bleached paper made from new fibre, while the other one at least had some made from recycled paper. It was when I read the packaging on the kitchen and toilet paper packages that I was really amazed, however.
I had to look around for a while to find paper that was not 100 % new fibre, and I don’t think there was even one that had unbleached paper. The kitchen paper was slightly better than the toilet paper, but the trend is worrying, have we completely forgotten about the poor trees? Is it just the wish of buying everything as cheap as possible that has taken over our choices as customers?
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