Posts Tagged ‘Dick’

  • Paper: not so yesterday – Andy McCourt

    In the era of the ‘paperless’ office, kindles and well-meaning environmentalists demonizing the blank page’s use in day-to-day business, Andy McCourt revisits some of the reasons why it will continue to remain vital to the world at large.

    Responding to stupid and ill-informed statements about the use of paper and printing has become quite passé since the old adage: ‘there is no cure for stupidity’ remains true.

    However, doing a spot of Christmas shopping in a Dick Smith store, I came across the pictured POS display promoting the Kindle: “Who thinks paper is so yesterday? – Dick Does.”

    Oh really? Apart from the sign being printed on paper board, in the next aisle were dozens of inkjet and laser printers and, in pride of place, a tower of reams of A4 paper on special (pictured). Every product in the store used paper in some way to package and promote. Woolworths, Dick’s parent company until recently (it’s now owned by Anchorage Private Equity), could not survive without paper for packaging, signage, labeling, receipts and presumably in the bathrooms too.

    The biological entity Dick Smith, was, and still is, a great supporter of Australian printing. His Australian Geographic magazine, catalogues and, today, his marvelous all-Aussie Dick Smith Foods use sensible and environmentally-sound print and paper. He never would have supported such a stupid headline by the current Dicks.

    If any of those Dicks are reading this, if you care to rise above your state of ignorance, modern managed forests and paper production are more sustainable than the internet and torrents of e-waste. UN research shows Europe has 30 per cent more forested area now than in 1950, North America also has more and the leader in increasing its forest area since 2000 is China at 1.6 percent annually.

    Managed forests lock-in carbon and water and for every tree felled, more than one is planted. One of the end products is paper (the other being timber) and this can be recycled over again – unlike most e-waste. Carbon emissions from internet/computer related use today are almost on par with the airline industry – approaching 400 million tones of CO2 a year.

    Australian printers such as Finsbury Green have greatly reduced water, solvent, VOC, carbon and paper waste over the past decade, to the point where Finsbury will be carbon-neutral by 2015.

    Kindles and other e-readers are fine if they encourage literacy. Like it or not, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ started out as an e-book and has now reached 60 million copies sold in paperback. But for Dick to say paper is so ‘yesterday’ is clearly headed in the wrong direction.