EDITORIAL: Flawed environmental bill is bad for business

EDITORIAL: Flawed environmental bill is bad for business

Newspapers also may be one of the least harmful products to the environment out there. More than 64% of old newspapers are recycled into products, including home insulation, egg cartons and cereal boxes. Newspapers and paper in general are not responsible for the high costs of recycling. In fact, newspapers only make up 1.7% of the entire municipal waste stream. Newsprint biodegrades by itself in two to six months, and can safely be composted in home gardens because the fibers break down easily and the inks are non-toxic.

The newspaper industry is already struggling financially. Small local newspapers, which residents rely on for information about government and community activities, could be placed in further financial jeopardy by the costs imposed by this bill. But for businesses based on the distribution of paper — including newspapers, paper manufacturers like Quad Graphics and Mohawk Paper, and companies like The Gazette that print materials for other businesses — the bill could have devastating financial effects.

And they’re being unfairly targeted. Bill sponsors would have you believe that shifting the cost of recycling onto the companies that make the materials is a good thing.

The council says it was crafted without extensive public discussion, regional hearings and input from businesses most affected by it. In addition, the bill proposes an aggressive timetable without having rooted out the potential impacts. There may indeed be a need to shift some of the burden for recycling onto certain manufacturers over time. The legislation is opposed by the New York News Publishers Association and the News Council of New York State.

The Gazette, for example, uses soy-based printing ink for all of its publications. Our newsprint is a virgin wood product that does not contain any recycled fiber. But it is produced using sustainable forestry methods. Even the production of the paper for newsprint is environmentally friendly.

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