The paper industry has condemned telecom companies’ move to issue mobile bill for post-paid users in electronic form instead of on paper.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recently received representations from telecom service providers requesting a review of the provision of the printed copy of the bill to post-paid subscribers and make Mobile Bill or E-Bill as the default option.
Telecom companies and their associations have referred to “environmental concerns relating to cutting of trees for paper used in printing of bills” as the main rationale for their demand.
In a communication to TRAI, Indian Paper Manufacturers Association has stated that paper is one of the most sustainable products and its usage is helping the cause of environment protection.
According to IPMA, environmental concerns relating to cutting of trees for paper used in printing of bills is completely fallacious.
Approximately 75 per cent of the paper produced in India is made using recycled paper or agricultural residue as the primary raw material. This contributes to protecting the environment. The balance 25 per cent is produced using pulp wood, over 90 per cent of which is sourced from farm forestry. Majority of the wood is grown in backward areas and marginal land which is potentially unfit for cultivation.Intensive efforts by the paper mills have brought about 900,000 hectares under plantation and 125,000 hectares under farm forestry on an annual basis.
IPMA has pointed out that damage to the environment by e-waste and the other effects of digitalisation are always underrated and paper industry has been suffering because of the negative publicity. According to IPMA, paper is biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and sustainably made from planted trees.
Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs to lakhs of people, especially in rural areas, working forests support the environment, providing clean air, clean water through increased rainfall, wildlife habitat and carbon storage, it said. – The Hindu BusinessLine