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Greens Want To End Plush Toilet Paper

From those Gaia cultists at the Washington Post:

Environmentalists Seek to Wipe Out Plush Toilet Paper

Soft Toilet Paper’s Hard on the Earth, But Will We Sit for the Alternative?

By David A. Fahrenthold
Thursday, September 24, 2009

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — There is a battle for America’s behinds.

It is a fight over toilet paper: the kind that is blanket-fluffy and getting fluffier so fast that manufacturers are running out of synonyms for "soft" (Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first big brand to go three-ply and three-adjective).

It’s a menace, environmental groups say — and a dark-comedy example of American excess.

The reason, they say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old. They want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made from recycled paper goods.

It has been slow going. Big toilet-paper makers say that they’ve taken steps to become more Earth-friendly but that their customers still want the soft stuff, so they’re still selling it…

Toilet paper is far from being the biggest threat to the world’s forests: together with facial tissue, it accounts for 5 percent of the U.S. forest-products industry, according to industry figures. Paper and cardboard packaging makes up 26 percent of the industry, although more than half is made from recycled products. Newspapers account for 3 percent.

But environmentalists say 5 percent is still too much.

Felling these trees removes a valuable scrubber of carbon dioxide, they say. If the trees come from "farms" in places such as Brazil, Indonesia or the southeastern United States, natural forests are being displaced. If they come from Canada’s forested north — a major source of imported wood pulp — ecosystems valuable to bears, caribou and migratory birds are being damaged.

And, activists say, there’s just the foolish idea of the thing: old trees cut down for the briefest and most undignified of ends.

"It’s like the Hummer product for the paper industry," said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We don’t need old-growth forests . . . to wipe our behinds."

The reason for this fight lies in toilet-paper engineering. Each sheet is a web of wood fibers, and fibers from old trees are longer, which produces a smoother and more supple web. Fibers made from recycled paper — in this case magazines, newspapers or computer printouts — are shorter. The web often is rougher.

So, when toilet paper is made for the "away from home" market, the no-choice bathrooms in restaurants, offices and schools, manufacturers use recycled fiber about 75 percent of the time.

But for the "at home" market, the paper customers buy for themselves, 5 percent at most is fully recycled. The rest is mostly or totally "virgin" fiber, taken from newly cut trees, according to the market analysis firm RISI Inc.

Big tissue makers say they’ve tried to make their products as green as possible, including by buying more wood pulp from forest operations certified as sustainable.

But despite environmentalists’ concerns, they say customers are unwavering in their desire for the softest paper possible

Last month, Greenpeace announced an agreement that it said would change this industry from the inside.

The environmental group had spent 4 1/2 years attacking Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kleenex and Cottonelle toilet paper, for getting wood from old-growth forests in Canada. But the group said it is calling off the "Kleercut" campaign: Kimberly-Clark had agreed to make its practices greener.

By 2011, the company said, 40 percent of the fiber in all its tissue products will come from recycled paper or sustainable forests.

"We could have campaigned forever," said Lindsey Allen, a senior forest campaigner with Greenpeace. But this was enough, she said, because Kimberly-Clark’s changes could alter the entire wood-pulp supply chain: "They have a policy that . . . will shift the entire way that tissue companies work."

Still, some environmental activists said that Greenpeace should have pushed for more…

Everyone knows that old growth forest trees are far softer than new growth.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 24th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

24 Responses to “Greens Want To End Plush Toilet Paper”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    In the never ending struggle to get back to the cave, the envirowhackos are now going after our toilet paper.

    These folks are full of fecal matter.

  2. Fuzzlenutter says:

    Hey, these moronic idiots can wipe there bloody derriere’s with their hands, feet, tongues, I don’t give a rat’s ass. But stay the hell away from my soft, wonderful TP!!

  3. proreason says:

    I’m looking forward to the day when I can wipe my ass with a re-cycled Green Activist.

  4. Gila Monster says:

    Damn dirty smelly hippies!! They never change with age, do they……

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    They can wipe their arse with obama 3 dollar bills for all I care!
    Here’s hoping they get paper cuts and a nasty infection from the worthless wad of treasury notes!!

  6. GL0120 says:

    These idiots can kiss my soft, pampered, ass!

  7. Georgfelis says:

    Error #1: Taking the words of an environmental group at face value. Nearly all of TP used in the US is made from tree farmed trees, much the same way as fields of grass are harvested for hay (only over a period of years, and on a large scale)

    Error #2: Assuming that companies would even think of using those valuable old-growth trees that sell for big bucks for actual building materials, and grinding them up for cheap TP. Think dollars per pound, people. That maple desk made into TP would be a horrible loss, both in artistic and financial sense.

    • DW says:

      Bang-on Georgfelis. I worked in the softwood lumber industry for 10 years.
      Now granted, no one wipes their ass with a two-by-four, no matter how huggable and squeezable it is, but here’s how it works:
      I can’t speak for the US, but north of the medicine line, it’s actually illegal to take logs over a certain size and just chip them (for use in the pulp and paper industry).
      What the paper mills use now, is the byproducts of the lumber mills. Wood chips.
      They don’t even harvest their own trees anymore. It’s one of those win-win deals for both industries.
      (unfortunately, both industries pretty much went for a shit {sorry -couldn’t resist} in recent years, but that’s how it’s done in the few that are still up and running)

      As for me, I will give up my Charmin when they pry it from my cold, dead (ahem!)…

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Too funny and true, DW!!

    • sheehanjihad says:

      After reading this, I have to go take a steaming Reid and wipe my Pelosi. I am still using that spotted owl instead of the charmin…. rectum too, this time, poor chap.

      Nobody is going to regulate my sh*t tickets… I have enough of Washington up my arse as it is……at least I can still mop off the residue of the government’s anal intrusions…..

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      To keep up a running theme:

      If you outlaw buttwipe then only buttwipes will be outlaws. (or something)

  8. U NO HOO says:

    The term, “head up one’s butt,” comes to mind.

    Especially painful with all the flames in the area.

    That must be the explanation for such stooooopid thinking…remember Weird Al and UHF?

  9. ptat says:

    What a bunch of asstriches!

  10. GTBurns says:

    Most TP is made from lumber waste products, recycling at its best. You want to know what really pollutes? PAPER RECYCLING PLANTS. All that used paper has to be bleached and chemically treated just to make it usable for recycling.

    The lumber industry does not clear cut old grown trees for basic building materials and paper, they have tree farms for that. The men you see on AXEMEN are pretty much a dying breed as the companied found it cheaper to grow their own stocks.

    Watch Penn and tellers Bull$hit episode on recycling.

  11. katmeredith says:

    ‘Fibers made from recycled paper — in this case magazines, newspapers or computer printouts — are shorter. The web often is rougher.’
    ‘By 2011, the company said, 40 percent of the fiber in all its tissue products will come from recycled paper or sustainable forests.’

    That’s my Cottonelle that I already pay too much for that they’re talking about making ‘rougher’. I will throw such a hissy fit. I’m not loving Greenpeace right now (not that I ever did). How dare they go after my TP, specifically? Nasty letters will be written! Changes in purchasing will be made! Boycotts will go into effect!

  12. MinnesotaRush says:

    MinnesotaRush to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “shut the ef up!”

    You, too, GreenPeace!

    Land of the Free .. Home of the Brave!!!

    “Oh .. use this lite bulb. Don’t smoke there. Wipe your butt with one piece of this. Don’t flush.”

    BANG!!! Problem solved!

  13. Flession says:

    I have absolutely no problem with sending my fecal matter in a recycled Ziploc bag to Mr. Hershkowitz’s or anyone else’s office if he/they wish for me not to use toilet paper. What, with the nonsense of waterless toilets, since we’re under such a ‘limited water supply’, I’m sure he’d appreciate me taking other appropriate steps to save the environment.

    • canary says:

      Flession, I think that is not a good idea. Just send “used” toilet paper.
      An Obombie freak I know has a family rule, 4 squares only. I saw cheap
      Ked shoes 100% recycled shoes at Walmarts. For example it said 10% recycled plastic bottles, 20% man-made recycled material, & 70% man-made recycled material. Nothing about a % of recycled cotton, or % of recycled nylon.
      Dang, rich people are lucky. They can stock up on safe toilet paper and light bulbs.

      grrrrr. Bleep the J.A. politicans for killing trees for
      1000 page bills they don’t even read. !

  14. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    The enviro-whackos now want to regulate the type of toilet paper we use? Now they’ve really erased all doubts that they’ve gone off the deep end with a point of no return. Just watch, next they’ll want to lecture husbands and wives on how many times they should have sex. Because the more you do that the more you increase the likelihood of having kids. And more people on the earth just increases the carbon footprint and Green Peace won’t stand for that.

  15. Confucius says:

    Not even 1 square a day?

  16. Right of the People says:

    NOW THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR!!!! I’m with DW, I’ll give up my Charmin when they pry it from my cold dead Pelosi.

    Save the earth, recycle a liberal.

  17. canary says:

    How come tree murderer Obama didn’t use recycled paper for his books.
    And all those political signs the Obombies use at protests.

  18. BigOil says:

    Who needs toilet paper while the Washington Post is still available.

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