Major magazine publishers teamed up with New York City last week to launch a program called ReMix – Recycling Magazines is Excellent. The goal is for people to recycle their magazines instead of throwing them away.
The move builds on a trend towards favoring magazines that use recycled paper. For instance, Barnes & Noble specifically promotes magazines that use recycled paper, and in 2004, Aveda began to advertise only in magazines that use at least ten percent recycled paper. Wal-Mart culled nearly 1,000 titles from the magazines its stores carry, a move partially inspired by the company’s focus on sustainability.
A big recycling issue is newsstands, where only one of every four magazines is sold. According to a study by Time, Inc. and Verso Paper, 95 percent of those unsold magazines get recycled. It’s the ones sold that have a low 17 percent recycling rate. That’s why publishers launched ReMix. The advocacy group Co-op America estimates that if all North American magazines used just 30 percent recycled paper, 1.7 billion pounds of GHG would not be emitted.
Last year, Magazine Publishers of America launched an initiative to get readers to recycle their magazines. One magazine, The Economist, is working with two sustainability organizations to study its carbon footprint.