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Phonebooks slammed by UK's youth

24th of March 2010

School-children call for an Opt-In System for phonebooks

Britain's school-children are backing 192.com's call to only deliver phonebooks on request, voicing fears at the environmental cost of producing the brick-like tomes.

A survey of 3,152 UK school children highlighted concerns at delivering thousands of unrequested phonebooks to householders.
Seventy-five percent of the respondents said that phonebooks should only be delivered to people who ask for them. Sixty-nine percent of the survey said they see phonebooks left on doorsteps and 69% thought we produce too much waste.

Youngsters aged 6-14 were polled by Intuitive Media, who provide safe social learning networks for a million children worldwide. The survey was conducted in partnership with 192.com's "Say No to Phone Books" Campaign, which has recorded 12,000 signatures on its' Downing Street ePetition.

The survey illustrated the angst of a young generation in the firing-line for climate change. Over 70% thought 'we waste too much energy', 69% percent thought everyone is responsible for climate change. Thirty-nine percent attributed responsibility to the government, 26% to big companies and 21% to adults.

Intuitive Media also invited children to participate in an art and creative writing competition suggesting alternative uses for unwanted phonebooks. One youngster turned a phonebook into a necklace, another turned a collection of phonebooks into a giant blue paper mach©-pig, demonstrating an alternative to the rubbish-bin.

Commenting on the survey, Carole Fletcher, Managing Director of Intuitive Media said: "Waste and climate change are everybody's problem. It's poignant that those likely to be most affected by it, our children, are expressing such an interest. SuperClubsPlus and GoldStarCafe allows them to do just that, by letting children share information and ideas online in a safe and creative environment".

Dominic Blackburn, Product Director at 192.com said: "By saying that phonebooks should only be sent to people who ask for them, the children have noted how we can take responsibility for our surroundings. I was particularly impressed by their poems about the environment, and highly amused by the idea of turning phonebooks into a paper maché pig.

Results of the Intuitive Media survey come ahead of the Kent Primary School Children's Council meeting, taking place on March 29 where children will discuss ideas on how to reduce waste, and how best to reduce the production of phonebooks. Arguably, this young focus group will grow up puzzled by the word "book" in phonebook because future sources of directory information are likely to be exclusively online.

Other phrases that might be rendered obsolete by advances in technology include: "wind down your window", "rewind a tape", "pick up the phone", "phone-box" and "yellow-pages".

About the research

The survey took place between October and December 2009. It was conducted online by Intuitive Media, who polled respondents throughout the UK. A separate poll was conducted in Australia.

About Intuitive Media:

Intuitive Media (www.intuitivemedia.com) is a multi-award-winning company that provides Safe Social Learning Networks for children. IM provides a two-part Safe Social Learning Network community including SuperClubsPLUS.com for children aged 6-11 and GoldStarCafe.net for children 11- 14.Over 1 million children have been registered to the communities in the UK, Australia and 42 other countries. The communities have been safety-approved and are supported by government departments across the UK, and Australia.

About 192.com

192.com is the UK's most awarded online directory, helping find people, businesses and places for millions of users every month. On 192.com, users can search over 700 million records including free directory enquiries, edited electoral roll information, local business listings, interactive mapping, aerial photography and property reports.

About the Say No To Phonebooks Campaign

"Say No To Phonebooks" calls on the government to establish a centralised opt-in system for phonebooks therefore reducing the environmental impact of producing, delivering and clearing up the waste created by unwanted phonebooks. So far the petition has over 12,000 signatures. For full figures of the environmental impact of the 75 million phonebooks that are delivered annually in the UK please visit www.saynotophonebooks.org

Say No To Phonebooks!

Help stop the 62,000 tons of phonebook waste that's produced in the UK every year!
Sign our petition for an opt-in system for phonebooks:
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/NoPhonebooks/
http://www.saynotophonebooks.org

For more information contact the 192.com Press Office.