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Re: [GreenYes] In 50 words or less, help me understand

In a message dated 11/13/02 6:33:14 PM, TomT@mwes.com writes:

>Gentlepeople,
>
>   Although I'm sure it's a complicated topic, could someone explain to
>
>me how recycled paper is more expensive than non-recycled paper?
>
>   Thanks.
>
>


Economies of scale. It's a lot cheaper to mow down forests and haul the wood 
to a massive pulp mill out in the boondocks, far from cities (where people 
complain about air and water pollution from big pulp mills), then crank out 
the paper and put it on big trucks and rail cars and ship it all to the 
cities, than it is to haul the used paper to central collecting sites, then 
to big mills outside the cities where it must be monitored for impurities 
that will damage the pulping process (much more likely with recycled paper 
than virgin wood pulp), mixed with virgin wood pulp (which must be hauled to 
the mill from the same forests used to make non-recycled paper), then made 
into paper and shipped back to the cities.

If the mills were small and near cities and if there were economic 
disincentives to the continued use of mega-pulp mills, things might be 
different. But the big pulp makers have invested many billions of dollars in 
setting up the system the way it is, and they are not about to let some 
upstart greenies convince Congress to change the laws and make it harder for 
their corporations to make a profit.
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