Members of the telephone directory industry met with federal, state, and local government officials and other stakeholders in Seattle, Washington, on October 18 in a meeting facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). The goal of the meeting was to develop an agreement on potential collaborative strategies to minimize the environmental impact of directory production and distribution. Industry participants included representatives from the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), Association of Directory Publishers (ADP), directory publishers, and key industry suppliers. Representatives from the two major industry trade associations – YPA and ADP – presented a "producer responsibility” concept proposal to the group that included a voluntary pledge by individual publishers to address the following key issues:
- Opt-out (subscribers can request NOT to get the phone book).
- Environmental production components (e.g., use of recycled content, soy inks, etc.).
- Recycling best practices.
The pledge could be developed into a publicly recognizable logo/symbol that publishers could affix to their directories to proclaim their environmental commitment. Based on positive feedback from the stakeholder group, YPA and ADP agreed to take this proposal to their respective Board of Directors and build consensus toward a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would include the pledge. If approved, YPA and ADP would encourage their members to commit to the pledge and sign the MOU. YPA and ADP will work with PSI to develop a draft MOU and publisher pledge for phone book dialogue participant review. The Final MOU and pledge are expected to be finalized by February 15, with MOU signatures being sought after that time.