American consumption of super soft luxurious toilet paper has been claimed to be worse for the environment than driving a Hummer. The problem comes from softer thicker brands of toilet tissue being manufactured using pulp from virgin forests which have stood for thousands of years, and is therefore devastating to the environment.
Comments from Kimberley-Clark, producer of a number of popular toilet paper brands are pointing the blame at Americans, one comment from a spokesperson being that if consumers wished to purchase recycled tissue products instead of those made from standing trees, they are free to make that choice. However this comes from a company that claims to have an Environmental Sustainability Policy; so much for corporate responsibility… Recycled products only make up 2% of sales of toilet paper in the US, compared to up to 20% across European and Latin American countries. When you consider that Kimberley-Clark spend 25 million dollars on advertising campaigns telling people to buy their velvety soft luxurious loo roll it is hardly surprising.
So is it a case that the need to have softer products is all a marketing ploy at the cost of the environment? Greenpeace is asking exactly this question, and cites an article where Kimberley-Clark even admitted that by using recycled fibres, the company has created tissue that has the softness that customers expect from their products. In a campaign to help consumers make informed ethical choices about the products they buy, Greenpeace has produced a leaflet to name and shame those companies whose green credentials don’t hold water, which you can read or download from their website.