National Envelope Hopes To Lick Bankruptcy Filing

National Envelope, the largest privately-held manufacturer of envelopes in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy protection. It's a sign of the paperless, digital times. It previously filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2010.

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And between post offices shutting down and paperless bills, it's a tough time to be in the envelope business.

Case in point: National Envelope - a company that produces more than 1,500 envelopes a second in facilities from Georgia to Washington, it filed for bankruptcy yesterday. And the press release was emailed.

Here's NPR's Nathan Rott.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: It is a digital age, where posting photos from your smartphone is a faster way to show grandma your summer home than posting a card. But if you ask the paper-based communications industry, the decline of their sales does not lie squarely at the feet of the Mark Zuckerberg's of the world.

MAYNARD BENJAMIN: This is a problem that lies squarely at the foot of Congress.

ROTT: Maynard Benjamin is the president and CEO of the Envelope Manufacturers Association - a group that represents 80 percent of the envelope and packaging companies in the U.S.

BENJAMIN: Congress has not acted, the Postal Service continues to get a little bit financial weaker every month, and this has a downstream impact on industry.

ROTT: Fewer Post Offices, fewer hours, fewer letters mailed. But all is not lost, Benjamin says.

BENJAMIN: We have about 3.5 million envelopes that are just used in greeting cards that are passed, hand to hand, in this country. I don't know about you, but I would not send my spouse an E-card as an anniversary greeting. That wouldn't work out real well.

ROTT: Point taken.

Nathan Rott, NPR News.

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