|2009.09.25 08:05||2009.09.25 08:05 | Civic Participation|
At present, 110 million copies of textbooks are published annually consisting of 100 percent natural pulp (as of 2007). As a result about 1.1 million 30-year-old trees disappear from our forests every year. With the MEST’s decision, the recycled paper textbook is expected to help protect woods and reduce carbon emission from next year. In Korea, we have only a few paper companies who are using recycled paper despite high waste paper collection rates. Along with recycling, the recycled paper textbooks will also lead local paper industries to manufacture various kinds of quality products [made from recycled paper]..
Recycled paper textbooks not only protect woods and the climate but also improve students’ health and study conditions by lessening the weight of their school bags. Also, the textbook itself will be a good environmental education material that focuses students’ attention on a sustainable society.
GKU and “Small Is Beautiful” have so far launched a variety of campaigns to promote the use of recycled paper. “Small Is Beautiful” has taken the lead in the recycled paper drive by publishing its monthly magazines using 100 percent recycled paper. GKU has also established a principle of printing all publications on recycled paper. To help people get rid of their prejudice against recycled paper, the Green Korea United exhibited recycled paper and had people feel it with their hands to let them know it was not different in quality from ordinary paper. From 2008, a number of celebrities have also joined the campaign. Among them, child actor Seung-ho Yoo and actress A-sung Koh were featured on the campaign posters which called for recycled paper textbooks. Since last year, about 262 middle and high school students from a total of 11 schools have conducted a series of street campaigns on weekends and more than 1,300 citizens have joined the signature campaign so far.
Alongside these achievements, the publishing company Moonhak Soochup used recycled paper to publish Harry Potter (7th episode) in 2007 and in Ulsan recycled paper textbooks have already been published as a Pilate scheme. In the long term the MEST decided to publish middle and high school textbooks and guidebooks consisting partly of recycled paper. GKU and “Small Is Beautiful” urge the MEST to extend the use recycled paper textbooks to all school years and to increase the content of recycled paper in the textbook in the years to come. Also the authorities will have to renew some of the systems for collecting and separating waste paper in an effort to produce high quality recycled paper. As for local paper-manufacturing companies, we call for them to try hard to research into and produce environmentally-friendly paper. GKU and “Small Is Beautiful” will promote recycled paper by signing agreements with universities, businesses, central government and local governments and we will take the lead in creating a society where almost all people use recycled paper. The newly-launched green publication campaign focusing on protecting forests can help us to do so.
Ttranslated by Sung ChangKwon
Proofread by Simons Chloe Jane
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