China's Sustainability Crisis

Without paper, no books. Without books, no supply chain. And without a supply chain, there’s no source of the revenue China needs to clean up the printing industry and make its way to a sustainable model.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the proverbial canary in the mineshaft for Chinese book buyers who are facing list prices nearly double that of the sixth book in the series. A dearth of paper has increased book prices by 10 percent so far this year, according to, and without a source of recyclable materials like wood pulp (Chinese paper is traditionally made of straw and crop waste, which is not easily recycled), print shops are forced to lie fallow, and book prices go up.

While the problem is currently affecting only the Chinese, without a new solution consumers worldwide could find themselves paying higher prices as demand rises while supply shrinks.

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