Seems we have a new chapter in Phone Book Wars. A new survey finds that a majority of Americans don't use the White Pages anymore. A majority also don't recycle it and don't want it left on their doorstep. Believe it or not, people go online to get information these days.According to the Harris Interactive survey:
- Nearly 7 out of 10 American adults rarely or never use the white pages phone book for looking up phone numbers and addresses for people or businesses. They're just not "doing it" as much anymore. See the video above;
- 87 percent support opt-in initiatives where they would receive the phone book only if requested;
- 60 percent of online adults find the contact information they need through online channels like directories, search engines and social networks. Fancy that;
- Only 22 percent of adults recycle their white pages phone books, which supports a Ban the Phone Book estimate that 165,000 tons of white pages phone books end up in landfills every year.
Ban the Phone Book also estimates that 5 million trees are needed per year to publish white pages phone books and that up to $17 million in annual taxpayer money is used to fund recycling fees.
The White Pages people, the ones behind the paper phone book residential listings, want to get out of the phone book business? And they're behind Ban the Phone Book? What gives?
The New York Times chimes:
"(Yellow Pages) Phone book companies counter that White Pages is merely talking up its own business interests. They emphasize that no trees are harvested to make directories, which they say they are made from a combination of recycled paper and byproducts left over from the lumber milling process, like sawdust" ...
Liz Powell, a spokesperson for White Pages, concedes the company could stand to gain if people no longer get white pages delivered to their homes --- and search for numbers online instead. But she said it's the environment, rather than the company's bottom line, that serves as a motivation ..."
Actually, the paper White Pages is separate from WhitePages.com, a Seattle company that publishes residential listings online. Confusing, I know.
Alex Algard, CEO of WhitePages.com, says the residential directory's site has
handled almost 1 billion online searches for people last year and that doesn't include Google, 411.com and other online people search options.
Meanwhile, at least 70 percent of states have laws in place that require telephone companies to print and distribute a phone book to every landline customer, including multiple books for households with multiple numbers, according to WhitePages.com.
WhitePages.com has announced a $10,000 grant contest to fund university research on the environmental impact and taxpayer costs of producing phone books.
The Ban the Phone Book initiative has produced the video at top to go along with their opt-in, or go online, campaign.
Are you convinced?