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Stop flushing forests!

by Mike Gaworecki

July 25, 2008

Update: Greenpeace and  Kimberly-Clark have announced the successful resolution of the Kleercut campaign as the maker of Kleenex has established a new sustainability policy focused on protecting Endangered Forests. Go to www.greenpeace.org/kleercut to find out more!
Kleercut activists lock down the entrance to a KC facility in Fullerton, CA
In our latest effort to call attention to Kimberly-Clark’s unsustainable business practices, several Greenpeace activists locked down the Kleenex facility at Fullerton, CA yesterday (check out the slideshow). I was lucky enough to ride along.

It was quite a thrill to watch as the activists leapt from their vans and proceeded to lock down the main entrance of the facility by chaining themselves to toilets with fake trees in them. Around the corner, on a busy boulevard bordering the facility, another group of activists were unfurling a 40 foot banner that read “Stop flushing forests.”

Local Fullertonians (Fullertonites?) were receptive to the message, too. People honked wildly as they passed the banner and the activists in “Forest Crimes Unit” t-shirts – there were so many honks, in fact, that surely the big-wigs in the administrative office could hear them. Nearly all of the teamsters who passed by tooted their horns. Even one of the policemen on the scene gave our activists a thumbs-up.

It was just a quiet Thursday morning for most of the people commuting to work, but as they drove by and saw our activists their heads turned, their eyes lit up, curiosity got the better of them. And that was the point. The people who live and work there drive by the KC facility every day, but many are (or were) probably unaware of the degradation KC’s products have wrought on Canada’s ancient forests. Our ancient forests. But they know now.

Most people, when they learn of what goes into KC’s disposable paper products, are immediately ready to swear off of Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle altogether. We brought thousands of petitions and postcards from people pledging to do just that until KC starts using as much recycled content in their products as they can, and agrees to only source what virgin fiber it still needs from sustainably managed forests instead of vitally important ancient growth Boreal forests. Think they read them? Think they paid any mind to the honking outside their office?

We’ll see. In the meantime, we’ll keep the pressure on. And we won’t be buying any Kleenex.

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