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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Campaigners trawl Tube for papers
Mountain of free papers ready for recycling
Volunteers collected 1,500 free papers left on the Tube
Green campaigners have spent the day collecting freesheet newspapers discarded on the Tube to highlight the issue of recycling.

Volunteers from Project Freesheet collected 1,500 copies of the Metro, thelondonpaper and London Lite left by London Underground passengers.

They displayed their mountain of papers in Trafalgar Square before sending them off for recycling.

Most copies are mixed with street litter and so are not recycled.

Newspaper hypocrisy

Project Freesheet organiser Justin Canning said: "People are under the misconception that leaving the paper on the Tube is contributing to recycling.

"Today was about getting out there and talking with people and letting them know that these papers end up in landfill."

He added: "There appears to be a lot of hypocrisy by these newspapers which tout their own green agenda in their news pages, but do not follow that through with actions when it comes to the problems they're creating."

London Lite was launched in August by Associated Newspapers and thelondonpaper, published by News International, followed a week later. Both target commuters.

Since their launch, an extra four tonnes of waste is being generated every week day in Westminster - the papers have a combined daily circulation in excess of 900,000 copies - according to Westminster Council.

'Recycling bags'

But Richard Meed, executive director of London Lite, said: "We want to see our papers recycled but we feel this has become an issue because our papers are more visible than others.

"For example, the returns from national newspapers completely outweigh the number of freesheets going into London.

"There are three million copies of The Sun published every day. I suspect most of those go in the bin."

Ian Clark, general manager of News International Free Newspapers, said: "All our distributors are supplied with recycling bags to pick up any papers left in the areas around their pitches.

"And we regularly run adverts in thelondonpaper encouraging readers to be responsible when discarding their paper."

London freesheet battle commences
30 Aug 06 |  Business

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