Monday, January 03, 2011

Paper waste?

Papers papers papers

How many people have come across the TODAY and My paper’s distribution? As I step off Raffles Place every morning, I can just see the way the papers are being issued out. Out the station, both sides, numerous stacks of My paper are issued. And up the escalator, the Mediacorp staff issuing the Today paper also in numerous stacks. And in the afternoon lunchtime, they return and issues more papers. And best of all, it is free……

What pictures are we looking at? People hunger for information, or a sight of how natural resources are being mutilated? As you go out into the stations all over SG, how many people are actually queuing up for the free issues of the papers? And look carefully at the people who are receiving the papers, are they old people or some just take plastic bag, grab a paper, and return to the queue for another round and another round of receiving? Some are people who grab the paper as much as they can and bring home to sell, or recycle, thinking that it would not only bring extra income, they also help to save the environment.

When the paper goes to the recycling center, how much energy and waters are actually required to initiate the process of recycling? How is it that these informations cannot be made available to the info-tech savvy people by uploading it to the iphone or blackberry or the ebook so they can read it digitally, and just delete it after reading. Isn’t it a better alternative? Why people are keeping on publishing the papers and giving it free, only to end up in the rubbish bin, and on raining days, these papers are even in higher demand so that everyone can use it as a shelter to cover their head on raining days.

And then again, think of this questions, some buildings around SG have a TODAY or My paper stand for the newspaper man to put the newspaper so that patrons can pick a copy themselves in the afternoon. And by night, what happens to the uncollected newspaper? Where do they go to? Are they simply thrown away? Or keep for the wasterpaper collector? How many papers are wasted in the process?

Two years ago, I actually wrote to the AXS about the feasibility of downloading the newspaper in digital form to the handphones, probably free of charge via infra-red. But it looks like there are technical issues so it wasn’t carried out. In the age of the Iphones, it looks like digital downloads can be made available so probably one day, SPH and Mediacorp can starts to reduce on the paper printing.


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