Anthony Swift, director, Canada Project, NRDC: “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. Maintaining the Canadian boreal forest is vital to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.”
Charmin, the nation’s leading toilet paper brand made by Procter & Gamble, is specifically called out for refusing to increase its use of recycled materials.
Shelley Vinyard, report co-author and boreal corporate campaign manager, 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.”
Deputy Grand Chief Mandy Gull, Cree Nation: “As Indigenous Peoples in the boreal forest, we live on the food from our land. The forest is our supermarket, with aisles of berries and meats and fish. My hope is that, once people know that their choice of tissue will determine whether food will be there for us tomorrow, they will help protect our homelands by switching to recycled and responsibly sourced products.”
The Canadian boreal is a vast landscape of coniferous, birch, and aspen trees. It contains some of the last of the world’s remaining intact forests, and is home to over 600 Indigenous communities, as well as boreal caribou, pine marten, and billions of songbirds. The loss of intact boreal forest is impacting Indigenous Peoples’ ways of life and driving the decline of caribou and other species.
Tzeporah Berman, director, International Program, Stand.earth: “As a Canadian, I am horrified that Charmin and other leading brands are making toilet paper out of trees clearcut from ancient boreal forests. These forests are some of the most important intact ecosystems left on earth — they are the breeding grounds for the majority of North America’s songbirds and home to threatened species such as boreal caribou — and we are flushing them down the toilet?”
Fortunately, solutions to the tree-to-toilet pipeline already exist. Instead of relying on virgin fiber from ancient forests, tissue companies can use recycled content or sustainably sourced alternative fibers. Use of these materials to create tissue can dramatically reduce our destructive impact on the boreal and other forests in North America and around the world.
The Stand.earth and NRDC report reveals that “the United States is a particularly voracious consumer of tissue products. The U.S. tissue market generates $31 billion in revenue every year, second only to China, and Americans, who make up just over 4 percent of the world’s population, account for over 20 percent of global tissue consumption.”
Stand.earth and NRDC are calling on Procter & Gamble and other toilet paper and tissue manufacturers to shift to recycled content and sustainable alternative fibers, and to take additional steps to ensure their supply chain is fully protective of boreal caribou habitat and respects Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands. Now is the time for action to mitigate the climate crisis and protect the world’s remaining forests, rather than flushing our vital forest ecosystems away.
MEDIA CONTACT: Virginia Cleaveland, 510-858-9902 (US), 778-984-3994 (Canada), email@example.com