DMA Goes on the Green Offensive

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The Direct Marketing Association is looking to present itself as proactive regarding the issue of recycling.


DMA president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen is notifying members this week about the launch of RecyclePlease, described in a letter as its campaign "to help American households and businesses recapture and recycle paper."


During the past 15 years, Wientzen wrote, the DMA has addressed misperceptions about catalogers, direct mailers and the environment, with the issue receding "somewhat" by the late 1990s. "However, the issue in recent months has re-emerged as environmentalists and interested consumers have refocused on the environmental practices of catalogers, direct mailers and publishers."


Pacifying environmentalists, avoiding the possibility of negative press and government intervention was characterized as insufficient. RecylePlease features two elements:


· A new RecyclePlease Web site, www.RecyclePlease.org, with information for consumers regarding recycling in their communities.


· A RecyclePlease logo that the DMA urges members to use on catalogs, direct mail and other recyclable, paper-based materials. The logo, which incorporates the RecyclePlease URL, is meant to encourage recycling. It also identifies the member as being a supporter of recycling.


"We need to step up our endeavors to encourage consumers, businesses and local governments to recycle paper-based products," Wientzen wrote. "This, ultimately, would benefit our industry because, presently, the demand for recycled paper is outpacing its supply. In other words, if people recycle more paper, then paper-using industries such as ours will have more post-consumer recycled paper."


Wientzen also urged DMers to remain informed regarding environmental issues during his welcome address yesterday at the DMD New York Conference & Expo.


"This is especially true if you're a cataloger or a direct mailer - though it could impact everyone," he said.


Consequently, savvy marketers should assess their environmental impact, including:


• Paper products procurement.


• Systems to assure that paper purchased comes from certified, sustainably managed forests.


• The possible use of more recycled-content paper in catalogs, admail, packaging, invoicing, etc., when appropriate.


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