Advocacy groups take issue with tissue

Advocacy groups take issue with tissue

Report decries lack of recycled content in some North American tissue products.

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February 25, 2019

The New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Vancouver-based Stand.earth have created a report that criticizes North America’s largest tissue makers for their sustainability practices, including a portrayal of “zero recycled content” by some producers.

The two groups say their 30-page report “takes the largest tissue companies to task for destroying North American forests and exacerbating the world’s climate crisis.” The report contends that Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Georgia-Pacific “use zero recycled content in their toilet paper.”

“Toilet paper and tissue manufacturers continue to rely on forests even though they have the resources and means to create and deliver products with recycled and responsibly sourced content that are better for the planet,” according to the two organizations.

The NRDC and Stand.earth report includes what they call a sustainability-based scorecard for at-home tissue brands, assigning “F” grades to leading U.S. toilet paper brands including Charmin, Quilted Northern, and Angel Soft. Brands using recycled paper content, including 365, Seventh Generation, and Natural Value, were among those awarded “A” grades in the report.

“Most Americans probably do not know that the toilet paper they flush away comes from ancient forests, but clear-cutting those forests is costing the planet a great deal,” states Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at NRDC. “Maintaining the Canadian boreal forest is vital to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.”

Comments Shelley Vinyard, report co-author and boreal corporate campaign manager at NRDC, “We’re calling on Procter & Gamble, as the maker of America’s leading toilet paper brand, to stop flushing forests down the toilet. Procter & Gamble has the innovation resources to bring Charmin into the 21st century; the question is whether the company will embrace its reputation as an innovator to create sustainable products using recycled material instead of clear-cut trees.”

NRDC and Stand.earth are calling on toilet paper and tissue manufacturers to shift to recycled content and what they call sustainable alternative fibers.