Oxford author Philip Pullman is among 200 writers worldwide to sign a petition demanding that books be published on 100 per cent recycled paper.

Mr Pullman, who lives in Cumnor, said: "This is one of the many ways people are becoming conscious of the way we are messing up the Earth.

"I hope that in some small way I can add my voice to helping the situation."

His best-selling books, including the His Dark Materials trilogy and Ruby in the Smoke, are published by Oxford subsidiary of giant publisher Random House, David Fickling Books, of Beaumont Street.

Mr Fickling said: "Philip Pullman's books are not yet made of 100 per cent recycled paper.

"But they bear the Forest Stewardship Council mark which is the state-of-the-art standard for publishing.

"But we are always working towards making things better still."

A spokesman for Random House added: "We were the first consumer publishing group in the world to be awarded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification."

The FSC Chain of Custody tracks timber through every stage in the supply chain from the forest to the final user.

The initiative in the publishing world originated in Canada, the largest supplier of wood pulp to the UK paper industry.

Mr Pullman, pictured, added: "I am delighted that Random House is in the forefront of publishers adopting a good recycling policy."

The Canadian versions of best-selling novelist JK Rowling's Harry Potter books have been published there on 100 per cent recycled paper by Rainforest Books.

Caroline Scotter Mainprize, spokesman for Oxford University Press, Britain's oldest publisher, based in Walton Street, said: "Within OUP we are committed to using paper from legal and sustainable sources."

Campaign group Greenpeace, which is spearheading the initiative to persuade more publishers to adopt green policies, reckons the wood pulp industry produces toxic substances when making new paper.

The film version of Mr Pullman's Northern Lights, starring Nicole Kidman, is being filmed under its American title of The Golden Compass and is due in cinemas at Christmas.

Over Christmas, the BBC broadcast an adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke starring former Doctor Who actress Billie Piper.