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Are stamps getting thinner or not ?
If mailing out your Christmas cards this year meant you used up your collection of “forever” stamps and needed some new ones, you might have noticed a change -- especially if you get your stamps from an automated machine.
Stamps are thinner -- and it’s very much by design, CBS 6 has learned.
US Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion said the changes are for two reasons: the environment and those automated machines.
Marion said thin is especially necessary at automated postal centers and kiosks and through automated teller machines at partner banks. A thinner stamp sheet makes them easier to dispense.
“The very first self adhesive stamp was a 10 cent Christmas stamp, piloted in 1974,” Marion said. “It was very expensive to produce -- the stamps were die cut into a rectangular shape with rounded corners. They were sold in panes of 50 with the stamps spaced apart on liner paper that had slits between each stamp. It was 15 years, 1989, until a fold-over book of self-adhesives returned to post offices as technology and processes for adhesives improved.”
A special polyester film the size of a dollar bill was later developed for ATM machines.
Now stamps -- and all other postal products -- are certified environmentally friendly, according to Marion.
“Inks and adhesives used in stamp production are environmentally benign and we have cut back on the overlaying packaging (for booklets, now better described as sheetlets) and linerless coils of stamps, which was a challenge as we evolved into self adhesive stamps,” she said.
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