Greenpeace wrote to me today. They said:
Greenpeace Senior Forest Campaigner Rolf Skar was on Fox’s America’s Newsroom yesterday morning to talk about Greenpeace’s new “Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide." Megyn Kelly issued a challenge to her co-host Bill Hemmer: Could Bill, with his eyes closed, tell the difference between recycled toilet paper and Charmin brand toilet paper, made from 100 percent virgin fiber (no recycled content)?
In the video below, see how Bill thought the recycled paper was actually the fluffy stuff made from ancient forests. At the 1:19 second mark, after Megyn tells Bill that he thought the recycled toilet paper was actually toilet paper made from 100 percent virgin fiber, he sheepishly responds, “Did I blow it?”
No, Bill, you didn’t blow it. But brands like Charmin and Cottonelle are blowing it when they destroy ancient forests to make disposable tissue products that are used once and then thrown away. Greenpeace’s “Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide” is a credit card-sized shopping guide that helps consumers find the greenest household paper products. In it, Greenpeace gives a thumbs up to brands Green Forest, Natural Value and Seventh Generation, while recommending that shoppers avoid products like Kleenex, Cottonelle, Viva, and Charmin.
The New York Times did a story on this issue last week in an article “Mr. Whipple Left It Out: Soft Is Rough on Forests.” The reporter, Leslie Kaufman, writes:
But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. 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.
Customers “demand soft and comfortable,” said James Malone, a spokesman for Georgia Pacific, the maker of Quilted Northern. “Recycled fiber cannot do it.”
Fox’s Bill Hemmer seems to disagree.