Recycling Paper - More Than Just a Business

Feng Ning, an environmentalist and businessman in Beijing, is doing his bit for the country's trees by manufacturing and popularizing recycled paper. Feng runs the Beijing Golden Pecker Energy-saving and Environmental Center.

"One ton of waste paper can be turned into 850 kilograms of usable recycled paper, which saves 17 trees, 100 tons of water, and 1.2 tons of coal. Moreover, the recycling process eliminates 35 tons of polluted water," Feng said.

"We've recycled the equivalent of 6,000 trees since 2000," Feng added.

In 1999, Feng entered the business as a salesman, but he found it very difficult to persuade people to buy recycled paper because they thought it too dark and too expensive.

Changing tactics, Feng collected waste paper from students and residents, and paid them with notebooks and tissues.

He then started a recycling mill for his own products, mainly notebooks for students.

In early July, Feng set up an "Environmental Pavilion" in a well-known office building in downtown Beijing to promote environmentalism and recycling.

The owners of the building gave the 30-meter space to Feng's company for free as a show of support.

Despite what others might think, Feng is in debt and his business continues to lose money. His wife supports the family with her salary.

"I'm not losing money," Feng explained. "I look at it as an investment."

Feng is confident that he will one day recoup his losses and start to make a profit.

"Beijing has over 1.5 million students who each use at least 20 notebooks a year," Feng said.

"That's a big market!"

Feng's efforts are slowly paying off.

Many more schools, companies and individuals are buying his recycled products. Some officials and business people have also had their business cards printed on paper manufactured by Feng's mill.

"The more profits we make, the cleaner this world becomes," Feng said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2005)



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