There is an alarming environmental situation surrounding the popularity of ‘ultra-soft’ toilet paper. In order to obtain the soft, fluffy, quilted texture that has become preferable to many consumers, manufacturers use fiber from standing trees and not recycled material. This disturbs me greatly because it means that toilet paper is made from ancient forests, old growth forests, virgin forests, second growth forests, natural forests, high conservation value forests, temperate forests, tropical and sub-tropical forests and boreal forests. All areas of the planet in great peril of decimation and which will have profound effects on the air quality of the environment.
The New York Times has reported: “Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them… Although brands differ, 25 percent to 50 percent of the pulp used to make toilet paper in this country comes from tree farms in South America and the United States. The rest, environmental groups say, comes mostly from old, second-growth forests that serve as important absorbers of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. In addition, some of the pulp comes from the last virgin North American forests… Greenpeace, the international conservation organization, contends that Kimberly Clark, the maker of two popular brands, Cottonelle and Scott, has gotten as much as 22 percent of its pulp from producers who cut trees in Canadian boreal forests where some trees are 200 years old.”