Europe fuelling Canadian forest destruction

Feature story - 9 November, 2006
Italy is a long way from the giant ancient Boreal forest that stretches across Canada. Despite the distance that separates them however, people buying Kimberly-Clark products in Italy and many other European countries are inadvertently helping to destroy one of the planets last great forests.

Clearcut Boreal forest in Canada.

Most people probably haven't heard of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation but they certainly know their products. As the world's largest tissue product manufacturer it makes some of the most well known brands like Kleenex, Andrex, Scottex, Page and Hakle.

Take Action now to save Canada's Boreal Forest

Greenpeace Response to Kimberly-Clark's Claims

Many of these products contain fibre sourced from the ancient forests of Canada, which is why activists visited the Kimberly-Clark regional headquarters in Turin, Italy recently to demand an end to the destruction of the Boreal forests for disposable tissue products.

UPDATE: Following on from the protest at the company's headquarters in Turin, Italy, two activists locked their arms onto an old bus outfitted to look like a giant tissue box, and block the entrance to Kimberly-Clark's largest pulp mill in North America. The protest is the latest in Greenpeace's campaign to highlight Kimberly-Clark's irresponsible logging practices and continuing deception about these practices to consumers and investors alike. Read More

Behind the cuddly and soft image of Kimberly-Clark's products lies a manufacturing behemoth. In 2005 alone, Kimberly-Clark used 3.1 million metric tonnes of virgin fibre to make its products, equivalent to 135,000 truckloads. 28 percent of virgin pulp used for its products in Europe and more than 20 percent globally was sourced from ancient forests in Canada including the threatened Boreal forest.


Such huge quantities of tree fibre aren't just a product of being a huge company; it's also due to the fact that Kimberly-Clark trails behind much of the industry in the use of recycled fibre.

Unlike Cascades, North America's fourth largest tissue paper manufacturer, which uses 97 percent recycled material for its tissue products; Kimberly-Clark is well behind the pack with only 29 percent of its pulp coming from recycled sources.

Many of Kimberly-Clark's best-known brands do not even contain a single strand of recycled fibre, a sad fact that is often proudly displayed on the packaging with the boast of '100 percent Virgin Fibre'.

"Ninety percent of the logging that occurs in Canada's Boreal forest is clear-cutting, wiping out vast tracts of ancient forests to make disposable products. How can Kimberly- Clark possibly justify its support of this destruction, especially since environment-friendly alternatives exist?" asked Sergio Baffoni, Greenpeace forests campaigner from Italy.

Kimberly-Clark could help solve the crisis in the world's ancient forests by increasing the use of recycled fibre in their entire line of products, and only purchase virgin fibre from logging operations that are sustainable and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™. So far, they have chosen to hide from their responsibility rather than address the issue.

Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, Canada's Boreal forest represents over 25 percent of the world's remaining intact ancient forests. This huge forest is also one of the world's largest storehouses of carbon. Every tree cut from the forest increases the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and helps to fuel climate change.


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Send a message to Kimberly-Clark demanding an end to forest destruction

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