Philip Pullman leads drive for recycled paper in books

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The Independent Culture

It is the country that gave the literary world Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields. Now it is at the vanguard of green publishing, with big-hitting authors such as Alice Munro demanding that their books be printed on recycled paper.

Canada, the largest source of wood pulp for the UK paper industry, was the first nation to promote large-scale green publishing in 2003, when Rainforest Books in Vancouver printed J K Rowling's Harry Potter titles on 100 per cent recycled paper. Greenpeace is working on a campaign to persuade more publishers to do the same. Two hundred authors worldwide, including Helen Fielding, Philip Pullman and Ian Rankin, have signed up.

The poet and green campaigner Mandy Haggith writes in Mslexia magazine this spring that "pulp and paper mills produce ... some of the most toxic substances on Earth", and urges readers to look out for the Forest Stewardship Council logo on books.

UK publishers with green paper initiatives include Random House, HarperCollins and Egmont Books. The British writer John O'Farrell says: "I expect nothing less than recycled paper for the publication of all my recycled jokes."