While people might be wary to air their dirty laundry in public, when it comes to bathroom products, the rules don’t apply.
Several recent news outlets, like this Feb. 25 New York Times article, have been discussing the environmental degradation caused by the production of toilet paper made from virgin materials, as opposed to post-consumer recycled fibers.
The report states, “Although brands differ, 25 percent to 50 percent of the pulp used to make toilet paper in this country comes from tree farms in South America and the United States. The rest, environmental groups say, comes mostly from old, second-growth forests that serve as important absorbers of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas linked to global warming. In addition, some of the pulp comes from the last virgin North American forests, which are an irreplaceable habitat for a variety of endangered species, environmental groups say.”
According to the article, most companies believe the feel of toilet paper made from recycled paper would not make the consumer cut. But, in a blindfolded test, discussed in today’s No Impact Man blog post, Fox news host Bill Hemmer opted for the recycled TP over a roll of Charmin. The blog post also pointed out that the cost for producing eco-friendly vs. virgin fiber toilet paper is comparable.
While it’s not good news that these companies are still making products in ways that cause significant environmental harm, these reports do show that consumers have an incredible power and influence over business. When consumers communicate a demand, companies listen and work to supply that demand.
At Climate Counts we aim to give consumers the low-down on companies’ climate impact to help consumers raise their voice and tell companies that climate change is important to them. Check out the Climate Counts scores for household product companies Kimberly-Clark (makers of Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott and Viva) and Procter & Gamble (which owns Charmin). Use our email petitions to let those companies know that you think Climate Counts.