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Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Into thin ice

    Blogpost by Frida Bengtsson - August 26, 2011 at 7:47

    The Arctic Sunrise in pack ice

    The cracking and rumbling when the ship pushes the ice flows aside to make passage; the countless shades of blue and white in the ice, sea, and melt water; the feeling of being completely removed from the ordinary world, without phones or internet.

    That's why I keep coming back to the high north.

    We are but visitors here. This place belongs to the animals that can survive here, like seals, sea birds and polar bears.

    So why are we here?

    It’s been two weeks since our icebreaker the Arctic Sunrise left a busy Amsterdam for the Arctic Ocean. We coasted along Norway and then made straight for Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago between mainland Norway and the North pole. We stopped over in Longyearbyen to pick the last supplies and personnel.

    Last night, 24 hours after leaving Longy... Read more >

  • Cottonsoft’s hollow words

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - August 24, 2011 at 16:12

    As the war of words continues, it would seem that Cottonsoft’s most recent statement has as much integrity as a sand castle at high tide.

    Following the release of our toilet paper investigation, which exposed links between Cottonsoft and deforestation in Indonesia, there’s been a series of incoherent and somewhat desperate claims made by the company.

    The most absurd is that the laboratory used in the United States – the internationally renowned Integrated Paper Services, widely regarded as the best in the business - are not up to the job. It’s a bit like saying that Sir Edmund Hillary was distinctly average at hill walking or that Dan Carter couldn’t hit a barn door from ten yards.

    This claim loosely hinges on the fact that one of the test results indicated that tropical hardwoods we... Read more >

  • Yesterday we released results of forensic testing we’ve done that directly links Cottonsoft toilet paper with the destruction of Indonesian rainforest.  Cottonsoft is owned by notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which have been documented many times by Greenpeace for trashing tiger habitat to feed its mills.

    We called on New Zealanders to pressure our three major retailers – Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises and The Warehouse to drop the Cottonsoft brand and stock only 100% recycled or FSC certified paper products.

    After a virtual avalanche of emails, The Warehouse took the responsible step and announced plans to suspend all orders of Cottonsoft. Progressives and Foodstuffs have yet to respond so keep the pressure on people! The most effective way we can get APP ... Read more >

  • Activists vindicated and court recognises right to peaceful protest

    Blogpost by Dave Walsh - Greenpeace International - August 23, 2011 at 11:14

    Good news from Denmark: The Red Carpet trial has finally ended, with a victory for freedom of expression - the Danish court clearly recognised the place that peaceful protest needs to occupy in a democracy, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

    The “Red Carpet 11” – Joris, Nora, Juan, Christian, Morton, Victor, Dima, Melanie, Guilhem, Thomas and Anders –received suspended sentences instead time in prison, fines or deportation from Denmark. There’s a great sense of relief from the Red Carpet team, but it would do them an injustice to say that they can  “now move on with their lives” – these are not the kind of people who sit still for long, and you can bet that they’ve been busy doing plenty of other things in their personal and professional lives over the ... Read more >

  • UPDATE: After receiving almost 2000 emails from concerned kiwis The Warehouse has announced it will suspend all orders of Cottonsoft products. People power works!

     

    The wholesale destruction of Indonesian rainforests is wiping out the habitat of critically endangered Sumatran tigers – and the NZ based company Cottonsofthas now been linked to this destruction.

    Cottonsoft is owned by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) - one of the most notorious players in the destruction of Indonesian rainforests.

    After an eight month investigation, we have today released evidence that Cottonsoft toilet paper contains fibre from trashed Indonesian rainforests.

    Cottonsoft refused to disclose where it was sourcing its toilet paper from so we sent samples to a US laboratory for forensic testing. Their tests conf... Read more >

  • Shell: "Something has gone wrong here"

    Blogpost by Nick Young - August 19, 2011 at 9:06

    Shell has apologised for the North Sea oil spill and for its own lack of transparency saying: "The fact is something has gone wrong here, so whatever risk assessment we made about the condition of these pipes has proven to be wrong."

    It's not the most reassuring apology in the world; alongside the apology came the admission that the second leak could take weeks to fix, that the pipe that sprung the leak is more than 30 years old, and that if Shell's risk assessment, maintenance and inspection processes had been better, the accident wouldn't have happened in the first place.

    The spill, in other words, seems to have been the result of systemic failures on Shell's part.

    The company's abysmal track record on safety does little to dispel this suggestion. In 2009 and 2010, the Gannet Alpha p... Read more >

  • Advert placed by APP subsidiary Solaris in Australian newspapers

    One of Asia Pulp and Paper's Australian companies has been caught in an embarrassing PR incident, in which clumsy personal attacks on Greenpeace campaigners and others have been traced back to its staff.

    While our global focus has been on toy companies like Mattel and Hasbro, our Australian colleagues have also concentrated on a more localised APP connection. One of the major supermarkets - IGA - was one of APP's biggest customers down under, and used APP products to make some of its own-brand toilet paper.

    The team have spent some time trying to convince IGA to ditch APP and its Australian affiliate Solaris. Then came the video of a tiger dying within a plantation operated by one of APP's suppliers and just miles from where forest is being cleared to feed APP’s mills. The video and the... Read more >

  • A couple questions for Shell

    Blogpost by Ben Ayliffe - August 18, 2011 at 11:14

    go beyond oil

    What does the ongoing North Sea oil spill say about Shell’s plans to open up the Arctic, where an accident would be all but impossible to clean up?

    Personally, it seems to me that if Shell can’t get it right in the supposedly ultra-safe North Sea then there’s no reason to think they’d be able to manage it in the freezing Beaufort Sea. As Shell continues with plans to drill in the Arctic waters off Alaska next year, these are precisely the sort of question it must answer.

    By a quirk of fate this week people have the opportunity to do just that - by taking part in the company’s “Developing Arctic resources safely and responsibly” web chat on 18th August.

    I’m sure it will be make enlightening listening and we want as many people to get involved as possible. You can register to take... Read more >

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