University of Florida Removes Kleenex Brand Tissue Due To Environmental Concerns

The University of Florida recently removed Kleenex brand tissues in campus stores Graham Oasis and Beaty Market, a move supported by students and Greenpeace. The university decided to remove Kleenex brand tissues, produced by tissue giant Kimberly-Clark (K-C), because they are made with virgin fiber, much of which is sourced from the North American Boreal forest--one of our last remaining ancient forests.

"The removal of Kimberly-Clark products from our university is a strong sign that the company is not producing an environmentally sound product," said Alex Klein, UF junior and student activist. "Kimberly-Clark claims to be an environmentally responsible company, but it uses wood pulp that is clearcut from the Boreal to make throwaway products like tissues and toilet paper. The University of Florida showed that universities can use their purchasing power to demand that Kimberly-Clark use recycled paper and stop wiping away ancient forests for disposable paper products." 

Klein learned about the Kleercut campaign after attending Change It, a Greenpeace student training. After returning to campus in the fall of 2007, she started educating students on campus about Kimberly-Clark and its practices. In the summer of 2008, Klein contacted Susie Lewis, the Sustainability Coordinator for Gator Dining Services, to ask her to phase out Kleeex in Graham Oasis and Beaty Market. Lewis facilitated the replacement of Kleenex brand tissues with more environmentally sustainable Seventh Generation tissues.

"UF already has an environmentally-progressive procurement policy and therefore we do not purchase Kimberly-Clark products on campus. I plan to continue to educate people individually about the Kleercut campaign and set a good example through my own actions," said Klein.Kimberly-Clark is the target of a growing number of university campaigns across the country because of the company's continuing forest destruction. University of Florida is the 12th university or college to take action against Kimberly-Clark due to concerns about the company's clearcutting practices and low use of post-consumer recycled content. Colleges and universities that have participated in the Greenpeace "Kleercut" campaign by removing K-C products include Harvard University, University of Vermont, University of Miami, University of Central Florida, Rice University, American University, Wesleyan University, University of California- Berkeley, and Northern Arizona University.   ###


VVPR info: CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace, 970.690.2728 (cell); Alex Klein, UF student, (407) 754-5006 (cell)

Notes: For more information about Greenpeace’s campaign to save the Boreal and for pictures, visit About Greenpeace Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. About Boreal forest destruction 1. Twenty-five million acres of ancient forest are being cleared or destroyed every year around the world. That is an area the size of a soccer field lost every two seconds. In fact, ancient forests cover only seven percent of the Earth's entire land surface. The world’s ancient forests maintain environmental systems are essential for life on Earth. They influence weather by controlling rainfall and evaporation of water from soil. They help stabilize the world's climate by storing large amounts of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. These forests also house around two-thirds of the world's land-based species of plants and animals. They are home to millions of forest-based communities and people who depend on them for their survival and livelihoods. 2. One of the ancient forests Kimberly-Clark continues to destroy is North America’s Boreal forest. The Boreal forest stretches across the country, from the eastern Alaskan to Labrador. The Boreal has evolved for over 10,000 years and is the largest tract of ancient forest left in North America, making the protection of the Boreal forest absolutely critical. Representing 25 percent of the world’s remaining ancient forests, North America’s Boreal forest truly is a global treasure. The thick layers of moss, soil and peat of the Boreal forest form one of the world’s largest terrestrial storehouses of carbon. This carbon storehouse plays an enormous role in fighting climate change. The Boreal forest is also home to hundreds of wide-ranging wildlife species, including moose, caribou, lynx, bear and wolves. Eagles, hawks, owls, 30 percent of North America’s songbirds and 40 percent of its waterfowl nest in the forests and wetlands. The Boreal is a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape of granite outcrops, lakes, rivers, and marshes interspersed with pine, spruce, fir and poplar forests.

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