Activists confront major players in pulp industry at annual conference for destroying caribou habitat, boreal forest

Activists confront major players in pulp industry at annual conference for destroying caribou habitat, boreal forest

Monday May 06, 2019

Stand.earth uses innovative technology to call on Procter & Gamble, Charmin toilet paper brand to reduce impacts on forests

Unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) — Advocates with international environmental organization Stand.earth have used an innovative new technology to send a message to big players in the pulp and paper industry about their continued impact on primary forests like the Canadian boreal.  

As International Pulp Week attendees logged into WiFi at their annual conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday morning, they were taken to a webpage highlighting the negative impact from Canada’s pulp and paper industry on the boreal forest and caribou habitat. Flyers were also distributed throughout the venue, and environmental advocates asked hard questions to industry representatives about endangered caribou habitat. The protest marks the first time the annual conference has drawn the attention of environmental activists.

“As a voracious consumer of forests in Canada, the pulp and paper industry is linked to caribou habitat destruction. With boreal caribou herds headed for extinction, the pulp and paper industry must stop sourcing from primary forests like the Canadian boreal and look to other more environmentally responsible solutions,” said Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.earth.

Stand.earth is using the international conference as an opportunity to call out Procter & Gamble for the sourcing practices of its flagship toilet paper brand Charmin, and to ask Procter & Gamble, as well as the industry at large, to incorporate more recycled and alternative fibers into toilet paper and other products. Several Procter & Gamble company executives are attending the event.

On Tuesday morning, Stand.earth forest campaigner Tegan Hansen confronted industry representatives to deliver a message to Procter & Gamble, walking into a conference sesstion with a banner that displayed the Procter & Gamble and Charmin logos and read: "Caribou habitat? Primary forest? C'mon!" while saying to the crowd: "Good morning Pulp Week. This protest is brought to you by Procter & Gamble, who are converting the Canadian boreal into toilet paper. We are in an extinction crisis. The UN has told us a million species are at risk of extinction. Endangered caribou habitat is not for toilet paper. Stop flushing our forests." Watch the video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yar3K0rHPyHWALmW_SOl7nPWKhrPjkhl?usp=sharing.

“Charmin destroys more Canadian boreal forest than any other toilet paper brand on the market. A million acres of boreal forest are clearcut in Canada every year — with a significant portion going to the pulp and paper industry, including tissue and toilet paper brands like Charmin. It’s absolutely ridiculous that American brands are complicit in flushing forests down the toilet,” said Tegan Hansen, Forest Campaigner, Stand.earth.

In its “Issue with Tissue” report released earlier this year, Stand.earth and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) took the largest tissue and toilet paper companies to task, giving Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, and Georgia-Pacific “F” grades for having zero recycled content in their at-home toilet paper brands. As one of the biggest global brands, Procter & Gamble markets itself as caring about sustainability, but the company relies a great deal on Canadian pulp — and a significant portion of whole trees from primary forests — to make its toilet paper.

In a poll released in March, nearly two thirds of Americans said they are concerned their toilet paper is made from clear-cutting globally important forests like the Canadian boreal, and 85% want toilet paper and tissue sector companies to use more environmentally responsible materials. But major brands refuse to change, instead relying on ancient forests like the Canadian boreal.

“Often called the ‘Amazon of the North,’ the Canadian boreal provides a crucial link in the global fight against climate change by storing massive amounts of carbon and preventing it from being released into the atmosphere. Pulp and paper producers and major brands like Charmin simply cannot be complicit in destroying primary forests any longer,” said Berman.

“blind wipe” video released in April went undercover to ask everyday shoppers in the Pacific Northwest if they could tell the difference between traditional and recycled toilet paper brands, revealing that when faced with the choice between toilet paper made from fresh cut trees and toilet paper made from recycled fiber, the majority of consumers choose recycled.

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Media contact: Tegan Hansen, 250-354-3302, tegan@stand.earth