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 were ‘suspected’ and blithely ignores the fact other results clearly showed that rainforest timber was present in Cottonsoft toilet paper. This is a wilful attempt by Cottonsoft to mislead both their New Zealand customers and the supermarkets that currently sell their toilet paper.
We have never claimed that every Cottonsoft toilet roll contains rainforest timber, but our tests prove conclusively that some of them certainly do. And this is why we have been completely transparent from the get-go. I’m not so sure Cottonsoft can say the same.
In fact, the reason they gave for refusing to take part in the survey was because Greenpeace were unable to promise the information would be treated as commercially sensitive. This is blatantly untrue. I didn’t cross my heart and hope to die but I did give my personal assurance to Cottonsoft, in writing, that any commercially sensitive information would be treated with the appropriate discretion. That’s same assurance I gave to every other supermarket and supplier that took part in the survey. Perhaps Cottonsoft’s operation is a little more sensitive than the rest.
It’s another weak attempt to play the victim which masks the fact that they failed to provide any evidence that their toilet paper was coming from responsible sources. Their answers stink like a blocked dunny.
And then there’s the jobs argument. Saying that we’re threatening the jobs of Cottonsoft employees is scraping the bottom of the barrel. No one wants to see Kiwi jobs lost, and there’s no need for this. It’s an emotionally charged but groundless claim. Other New Zealand based companies are able to provide toilet paper that doesn’t come from trashed rainforests, so why is it that Cottonsoft have to? Surely, as a responsible business they have an obligation to their customers to ensure that their products meet the highest environmental standards. After all, this is what New Zealanders expect and is integral to values that we hold. Indeed, if anything is threatening ther job security it’s Cottonsoft’s insistence on sourcing fiber from Indonesian rainforests.
The simple fact remains that over the years, Greenpeace has repeatedly exposed Cottonsoft’s parent company – Asia Pulp and Paper – for trashing tiger habitat to feed its paper mills. Time and time again irrefutable evidence has been presented to them, yet they continue to destroy rainforest to make throw away products like packaging and toilet paper. And one by one, major retailers around the world such as Carrefour, Nestle and Unilever have cancelled contracts with APP because they refuse to change their ways.
And this really gets us to the heart of the issue. Ultimately, we’re asking Cottonsoft to use their influence with APP to immediately commit to an end to rainforest clearance for their pulp and paper products. It is only this sort of commitment that can begin to convince customers and supermarkets that APP is genuinely committed to sustainability.
TAKE ACTION: Email NZ supermarkets here and ask them to stop stocking Cottonsoft products