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Is Old News Good News? Increasing the Recyled Fiber Content of Newsprint

Author(s): Graff, Robert

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Abstract: As disposal of solid waste became increasingly expensive and problematic in recent years, many governmental juris- dictions mandated the separation and collection of old newspapers (ONP) to remove them from the waste stream. This sudden increase in ONP supply resulted in a price drop that threatened the survival of many programs. In an attempt to increase ONP demand, laws were proposed, and in some cases passed, requiring newspapers to publish on recycled newsprint. In order to stave off what they saw as a threat to a free press, newspaper publishers, along with the newsprint industry, acted to increase the supply of and demand for recycled newsprint, as well as to increase the quantity and quality of collected newspapers. The market has been moved toward a new equilibrium with a much higher recycling rate. Although it is possible that this equilibrium would have been reached at a later date without government intervention, it seems unlikely.
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 103-116
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 2;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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