New books are not particularly fragile. Everyone knows that. In fact, that’s one of the big reasons why paper-and-ink texts are still preferred by such a wide margin over breakable, expensive-to-replace e-books and e-readers.
So it’s a bit of a mystery why the vast majority of publishers choose to send out review copies and sample copies of books in bubble envelopes.
Here at Q&Q, we try, as much as we can, to re-use these envelopes, but there’s only so much we can do. Here’s a shot of just some of the envelopes that infest our offices:
We re-use them and give them away, but they just keep piling up. They’re like Tribbles. We’re certain the situation is the same, if not much worse, at other media outlets. The most likely result is that the majority of these envelopes “ which are NOT recyclable “ just end up in landfill.
And so we’re asking “ pleading, really “ that publishers switch to using strong paper or cardboard envelopes for review and sample copies. Most warehouses do this already. It’s the most sensible, economic, and eco-friendly thing to do.
David Leonard, the book campaigner for Markets Initiative, agrees. Obviously, the biggest environmental footprint from the publishing industry comes from the paper that the books are printed on,” Leonard told Q&Q in an an e-mail, “but environmental action with integrity should incorporate all aspects of a company’s practices. A simple shift from non-recyclable bubble wrap envelopes to recycled and recyclable cardboard packaging is a fast and easy way for a publisher to reduce their footprint, and help reduce pressure on our forests.”
So please, if you won’t do it for your bottom line, or for the environment, do it for us. Trust us: the books won’t break.