Urge Magazine Companies to Use Recycled Paper

Target: David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines

Goal: Encourage magazine companies to reduce their share in paper consumption by using recycled paper

In the United States alone, Americans consume 30% of the world’s paper, and magazines are a big part of that consumption. Each year, 359 million magazines are published, yet somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of magazines on newsstand racks never get sold and end up in the garbage. This wastefulness negatively impacts forests, the earth’s climate, and communities around the world. If magazine companies took the initiative to use recycled paper, we could significantly decrease that number and have a positive impact on the environment.

Hearst Magazines produces some of the most well-known publications in both the United States and around the world, boasting 20 U.S. titles with over 300 international editions. While the company does have some green achievements under its belt, the destruction caused by its annual consumption of paper made from virgin wood pulp is too detrimental to ignore. Many publishing companies decline to use recycled paper because they believe it will lead to a perceived loss in presentation quality and therefore a decrease in sales. However, with growing consumer support for environmentally sustainable products, it would actually serve as a marketable benefit to switch to recycled paper.

One ton of magazine paper is equivalent to roughly fifteen trees, or, one tree per second for the magazine industry. However, post-consumer recycled paper requires no trees, saving our forests from further destruction. This keeps the ecosystem intact for their animal inhabitants as well. Processing recycled paper also uses significantly less energy and emits far less in greenhouse gasses. Contaminated water and air pollution are also not factors, although they are in the production of paper from virgin wood pulp.

Magazine companies need to take the initiative to enter a new, more sustainable era. Using recycled paper will likely enhance reader support, creating a win-win situation for customers, publishers, and the environment. Encourage magazine companies to switch to recycled paper by signing the petition below.


Dear Mr. Carey,

Hearst Magazines has had many excellent environmentally-friendly achievements, and it is important to celebrate environmental sustainability as part of corporate responsibility. However, we believe you can do better. With 20 U.S. titles and over 300 international editions, plus 20 U.K. titles, your company produces a huge number of publications per month. Although they are excellent publications, unfortunately only 30-40 percent of those shipped to newsstands get sold. The rest end up in the trash.

While this type of waste may not be directly attributable to your company, we think you can help reduce it by using recycled paper. Using post-consumer recycled paper as opposed to brand new paper produced from virgin wood pulp significantly lowers the environmental costs of lost trees, greenhouse gases, and contaminated water and polluted air. It would be a far more sustainable way to produce your company’s magazines.

Furthermore, advancements in recycled paper in recent years mean that Hearst Magazines would not have to sacrifice much in terms of aesthetics. Presentation quality would be roughly equivalent to current magazines in stores. Additionally, the cost is no more than virgin fiber papers. Consumers would appreciate the switch, translating into increased sales and reader loyalty.

By taking the initiative to switch to recycled paper, your company would be seen as a leader in its industry. You would be driving sales while improving the conditions of our earth – a win-win for all. We urge you to consider using recycled paper in Hearst Magazine’s publications for your company, your customers, and the environment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michele Ursino via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    recycle them or make them digital once again!

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