Current estimates are that 15 per cent of China book printing books (by sales value) are returned to the publisher, and book wastage is still approaching 20 per cent of production. This is raising increasing concern about the connected ecological issues. Is it right to have such a culture of wasteful distribution within the book industry?
The return of unsold books to publishers from retailers and wholesalers is an expensive and wasteful characteristic of the book business, which was estimated by KPMG in 1998 to cost the industry £100 m. Mark Williams, Managing Director of the distributor TBS, commented: ??Green issues are going to be a major driver in the future, and we want to reduce the expense of moving product around. People talk about air miles or food miles ¡§C we have book miles?¡¥ (The Bookseller, 17 August 2007). In 2007 Hachette announced that it would move tofirm sale on its backlist for environmental reasons.