Letter to the editor: Tissue products are a sustainable choice

Letter to the editor: Tissue products are a sustainable choice

Mark Pitts, executive director of printing-writing, pulp and tissue for the American Forest & Paper Association, rebuts advocacy group's claim that tissue products are unsustainable.

March 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

Contrary to what the report featured in “Advocacy groups take issue with tissue” (published 2/25/2019 on RecyclingToday.com) suggests, tissue products are a sustainable choice.

Whether made from responsibly sourced wood fiber, paper recovered for recycling or a combination of the two, U.S. tissue manufacturers ensure that the resources used to make them are appropriate to meet customer needs and will be plentiful for generations to come. North American forests are among the most sustainably managed forests in the world.

A fact that is lost in the article is that tissue manufacturers actually drive demand for recycled fiber, consuming 4.4 million tons of recovered paper in 2017 to make new products. In 2016, 90 percent of the 76 U.S. mills that produce tissue paper used some recovered paper to make new tissue products. Seventeen of these mills used only recovered paper.

Recycled content in tissue products varies according to the suitability of the fiber for use in the end product. Not all fibers can deliver the same attributes as softness, strength and absorbency that a diverse consumer base demands, which is why a wide array of consumer tissue products are available today.

Tissue products provide convenience, improve hygiene and deliver benefits in reducing the spread of germs and diseases that cannot be matched by alternatives. Consumers should not be dissuaded from using these sustainable and beneficial products that improve the quality of people’s lives every day.

Mark Pitts

Executive Director, Printing-Writing, Pulp and Tissue

American Forest & Paper Association

1101 K Street NW, Suite 700

Washington, DC 20005