Report Looks at Recycled Content
Use by Northeast Newspaper Publishers
The first full year of monitoring for the Northeast Newspaper
Publishers' Agreement has just been completed. Publishers reported on
the total amount of newsprint paper consumed and the total amount of recycled
newsprint fiber contained in that newsprint paper for calendar 2001.
The question asked of the publishers about newsprint recycled content
was reframed this year (as compared to the questions asked in 2000) to
more specifically address percentage of recycled newsprint fiber used
rather than the average percent of recycled content newsprint used (un-weighted).
As a result, the figures obtained last year cannot be compared with this
year. However the 2001 figures can be compared to those in the benchmark
year, 1997 (as described in the Newspaper Publishers Agreement Task Force
At that time, newspaper publishers in the region were using newsprint
containing an average of 27 percent recycled newsprint fiber content.
In 2001, they were using newsprint containing an average of 28.8 percent
recycled newsprint fiber. The report showed that the northeast newspaper
publishers not only met their commitment of 27 percent recycled newsprint
fiber usage, they actually slightly exceeded it.
Several changes occurred in the newspaper industry over the past year,
and these changes are reflected in the figures; most notably, a 39 percent
decrease in metric tons of newsprint purchased. It dropped from 2,520,967
tons in 2000 to 1,529,783 tons in 2001. To put this into historical perspective
in 1996— according to the Newspaper Association of America, consumption
of newsprint by daily newspaper publishers in the Northeast totaled 2
Overall, the publishers remain firmly committed to the intention of the
Newspaper Publishers' Agreement, and to the use of recycled content in
newsprint. The Northeast Newspaper Publishers' Agreement has been signed
by publishers representing more than 80 percent of the total newsprint
consumption in the Northeast. It is a commitment to achieving an average
recycled content rate of 27 percent. The full Newspaper Publishers Agreement
Task Force report, which describes the project background, is, available
on the Northeast Recycling Council website (www.nerc.org).
Reprinted with permission from the
Northeast Recycling Council.