June 29, 2013

Recycling handbills stuffed into our Daily Newspapers

I get three newspapers at my doorstep each morning. And on the weekends, a few more. The latter however are the freesheeters of our neighbourhood, a concept that we instituted some two decades ago.

My life and my work revolves around news and information. And anything to do with news.

It is a good habit that grew on me from the time my Dad subscribed to The Mail, that popular eveninger of our city that is no more.

Reading the three dailies takes time and is worth it. But all of us who buy these dailies also have to contend with the handbills and notices that are packed between the printed pages.

What were mere rags, printed on dirty paper in single-colour are now glossy multi-fold brochures and producing them in their thousands must cost a pile.

On weekends, my dailies grow in weight by at least a quarter of a kilo, merely because the handbills are not only many but many of the same are stuffed in between.

From the local veggies store to the new salon, from promoters of apartments in Madambakkam to fixers of mosquito nettings, the variety that spills from my dailies are a torrent.

I do look at these fliers closely. Anything is of some value if you are the sort who looks closely.

In the neighbourhood where I live, the local restaurants are very aggressive with their narrow advertising.

Many of them now provide us with their entire menu card. Recently, ‘Ente Keralam’ restaurant shoved in its home delivery menu.

On a lazy recent Sunday, the single-colour menu card of a new restaurant caught my eye. More so since it claimed to promise the best seafood cooked the Kanyakumari way. My order was placed and it arrived well on time. But I am not giving it even 4/10 and hence, will not want to get back to this restaurant.

What I do go back to every morning is a gunny bag. For, after I have done with the daily newspapers, I carry the handbills and dump them in one place, to be sold off a waste to the raddiwallah when he drops by.

Can you imagine the amount of handbills waste we contend with in our homes every morning?

We may have to live with such advertising as long as it pays the people who pay for it. But there seems to be a need for a sustained effort to store and dispose the bills in a more organised manner.

We have heard of the online-driven Kuppathoti group which makes it easy for people to get rid of unwanted stuff.

Is there something we need to do to recycle handbills?

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