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I Just Helped Kill a Papermachine
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Last week, I finally succumbed to an offer from a credit card company to “go green” and only receive electronic statements. They could have gotten me by charging for paper statements, but instead their enticement was a sweepstakes worth USD 25,000 (and I don’t even like gambling, not the least).

In reality, I realized I had been pulling down electronic statements anyway, and it was redundant and wasteful to have them send me one I already considered obsolete when it arrived.

Any remorse for helping kill a paper machine? No. For I am old enough to have seen this all before. First it was milk, which went from glass to paperboard to plastic. Paperboard liquid packaging for milk has seemed to stabilize in recent years. Then it was grocery bags, which went from paper to plastic and now back to paper.
In reality, what makes sense economically will always prevail. One must remember this. Even the public policy movement (banning plastic bags or putting a tax on them) has economic roots for the consumer.

What is exciting, despite my dour views of the so called “biorefinery” is that some new plastics are being derived and developed from cellulose and other organic matters and may end up giving renewable crops the last laugh when it comes to packaging milk, juices, and water.

My sour view of these matters, by the way, is my conviction such products will be produced at stand-alone chemical plants, not existing paper mills (see this week’s Nip Impressions main article at http://www.nipimpressions.org/news.php?viewStory=886 for more on this).

The reality is money always rules, something even the so-called liberal environmental advocates know. That is why they push hard for punitive taxes on behaviors they want to see stopped. Yes, I could have held out for paper statements for a while longer, but what is the point? The sooner we realize where our real economic advantages lie, the sooner we can stop carrying obsolete and ultimately dead ideas around.

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