Does your toilet paper cause rain forest destruction?
Despite the critical benefits forests bring to our planet and our daily lives, forests around the world are under threat from deforestation, including by illegal logging for timber products. One commonly purchased timber product—toilet paper—can be directly tied to the destruction of forests known to be key tiger habitats, particularly in Sumatra, Indonesia. Since 1985, more than half of Sumatra’s natural forests—an area greater in size than the state of Virginia—have been lost due to conversion to pulp plantations for tissue and other paper products, such as copy paper and packaging.
In March 2012, WWF launched a campaign asking 20 U.S. grocery chains believed to be the top buyers of Paseo brand toilet paper—known to be made from fiber supplied by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a company causing rain forest destruction in Sumatra—to remove the product from their grocery store shelves. APP and its affiliates have pulped more than five million acres of natural forests in Sumatra, which includes land that is essential to the survival of tigers and other species.
Thousands of WWF supporters spoke up and took action in support of this campaign, and by April, 17 of the 20 companies took action and removed Paseo from their store shelves. This was followed by a decision by the manufacturer of Paseo to stop selling the toilet paper brand across the United States. By signing our petitions, becoming a mystery shopper, and spreading the word, the companies heard your voice and stopped sourcing Paseo until APP changes its practices.
In October 2012, Dollar General committed to stop sourcing both paper towels and tissue from Sumatra’s forests for its private label brands. They recognize that they can have a positive impact in saving critical tiger, elephant and orangutan habitat.
Livi, another brand made from fiber supplied by APP, remains in U.S. hotels, restaurants and schools.
WWF supports responsible pulp and paper production, efficient paper use, and the use of paper products made with fiber from responsibly managed forests, plantations and recycled sources.