Greenpeace Canada

Greenpeace Canada

November 09, 2006 10:18 ET

Canada’s Boreal Forest being flushed down Europe’s toilets

Greenpeace blockades Kleenex manufacturer’s Italian headquarters to end forest destruction

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor TURIN/ITALY--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 9, 2006) - Activists from Greenpeace today confronted Kimberly-Clark at its regional headquarters in Turin, Italy demanding that the company "Stop Flushing Ancient Forests Down the Toilet." While 2 activists suspended a massive banner from the rooftop, 20 others chained themselves to toilet bowls outside the office with trees being 'flushed down' them, symbolizing the company's destruction of Canada's ancient Boreal forest to make toilet paper and other disposable tissue products.

Greenpeace is campaigning to get Kimberly-Clark, the world's largest manufacturer of tissue products, to end its destruction of the Boreal Forest. Kimberly-Clark produces some of Canada and Europe's most well known brands of tissue and toilet papers such as Kleenex, Andrex, Scottex, Page and Hackle. Almost one-third of the virgin pulp used to make Kimberly-Clark's European products and one-fifth of its global pulp is from destructive logging operations in Canadian forests, including the Boreal forest.(1)

"Ninety per cent of the logging that occurs in Canada's Boreal Forest is clearcutting, wiping out vast tracts of ancient forest to make disposable products. How can Kimberly- Clark possibly justify its support of this destruction, especially since environmentally-friendly alternatives exist?" asked Sergio Baffoni, Greenpeace forests campaigner in Italy.(2)

Greenpeace demands that Kimberly-Clark dramatically increase the use of recycled fibre in its entire line of products and that any virgin fibre it uses be purchased only from sustainable logging operations that are certified as meeting the strict standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.(4)

"Our Canadian natural heritage is being down flushed down European toilets because Kimberly-Clark continues to act irresponsibly," said Christy Ferguson a Toronto-based Greenpeace forest campaigner. "Caribou herds in forests in Ontario and Alberta are being wiped out to fuel this senseless destruction."

Canada's Boreal Forest represents more than one-quarter of the world's remaining ancient forests. The largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon, it is essential in fighting global warming.

For more information
B-roll and blockade photos available.

Sergio Baffoni, Greenpeace forests campaigner in Italy: (39) 348 398 8680
Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace forests campaigner in Canada: 416-451-9354
Andrew Male, Greenpeace communications in Canada: 416-880-2757

Footnotes :

(1) www.kimberlyclark.com/aboutus/Sustainability2005/2005SustainabilityReport.pdf and www.kimberly-clark.com/aboutus/KC_Europe_Tissue.pdf

(2) The company has the ability to acquire a much higher percentage of post-consumer recycled fibre. This stands in contrast to tissue product manufacturers like Cascades, North America's fourth largest tissue paper manufacturer, which uses 97 per cent, recycled sources and SCA, the world third largest tissue producer, which has committed to procuring its virgin fibres from FSC certified forests.

(3) Every year around the world, approximately 13 million hectares of forest is destroyed. That's an area the size of a football pitch lost every two seconds of which the vast majority are ancient forests. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005. Progress towards sustainable forest management. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 2005. www.fao.org/forestry/fra2005

(4) The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is currently the only international certification and labelling system that uses globally endorsed ecological performance standards, ensures a traceable chain-of-custody from production to final consumption and addresses the interests of a broad range of environmental, social and economic stakeholder. www.fsc.org IN: ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY, POLITICS

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