Still Putting It Down on Paper

Take heart, those of you who still like to read your information on a sturdy piece of paper. You apparently have lots of company.

Despite the rush to electronic communication, the stacks of memos, newspapers, printouts - you name it - have been growing, not shrinking. So says a report by the PaperCom Alliance, a trade group of (yes) papermakers.

While the report's authors clearly have an interest in all this, the data are telling: Paper consumption in the US went from 86.8 million tons in 1990 to 99 million tons in 1998. Since 1992, the US Postal Service's yearly load has mounted to just under 200 billion pieces of mail, up 33.5 billion pieces from 1992. And people are writing more paper checks than ever to pay their bills, 66.1 billion in 1997.

So the paperless society is still way out of view behind all those piles of cellulose. And now, well, it's time to get multiple hard (paper) copies of this editorial to everyone who needs to see them.

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