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American taste for soft toilet roll 'worse than driving Hummers'


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#1 Jase

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

http://www.guardian....et-roll-america

Extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply toilet roll made from virgin forest causes more damage than gas-guzzlers, fast food or McMansions, say campaigners

The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public's insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.


"This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous," said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council.


"Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution." Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests.


A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands.


More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin forests, said Hershkowitz. In Europe and Latin America, up to 40% of toilet paper comes from recycled products. Greenpeace this week launched a cut-out-and-keep ecological ranking of toilet paper products.


"We have this myth in the US that recycled is just so low quality, it's like cardboard and is impossible to use," said Lindsey Allen, the forestry campaigner of Greenpeace.


The campaigning group says it produced the guide to counter an aggressive marketing push by the big paper product makers in which celebrities talk about the comforts of luxury brands of toilet paper and tissue.


Those brands, which put quilting and pockets of air between several layers of paper, are especially damaging to the environment.


Paper manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark have identified luxury brands such as three-ply tissues or tissues infused with hand lotion as the fastest-growing market share in a highly competitive industry. Its latest television advertisements show a woman caressing tissue infused with hand lotion.


The New York Times reported a 40% rise in sales of luxury brands of toilet paper in 2008. Paper companies are anxious to keep those percentages up, even as the recession bites. And Reuters reported that Kimberly-Clark spent $25m in its third quarter on advertising to persuade Americans against trusting their bottoms to cheaper brands.


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#2 Zod

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:01 PM

The butt likes what the butt likes.

#3 Jase

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:05 PM

I wish they made TP out of baby seals... so soft.

#4 tight lines

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:25 PM

Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution." Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests.


A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands.


More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin forests, said Hershkowitz.


I believe the terms they use here are incorrect and misleading. There are very few virgin forests left in the world, and most of the wood cut from those is used for lumber. Virgin pulp on the other hand which is used to make most of our TP (from what this article claims, I am a little skeptical since they seem to know even less about paper and forestry than I do).

Virgin pulp could come from any Forrest including forests that have been replanted by paper companies. Paper and lumber companies btw plant WAY more trees than Greenpeace, arbor day and all the tree huggers combined


I can see valid arguments about using virgin pulp to make paper ( energy usage) but the ones This article are pretty weak and poorly substantiated.

#5 Murph

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:32 PM

Well as soon as they invent the three sea shells, I'll convert.

#6 Frash Brastard

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:47 PM

i guess a chafed butt is worse than environmental destruction.

#7 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:05 PM

High pressure water blasters instead of Toilet paper. Get clean and get a thrill at the same time. :)

#8 tight lines

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:39 PM

High pressure water blasters instead of Toilet paper. Get clean and get a thrill at the same time. :)


Then they will complain about all the damn water you are wasting.

#9 catfang

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:40 PM

tender American buttocks? Who wipes their buttocks? Well, ok maybe some mornings, sure.

#10 natty

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:07 PM

Hold on a sec....I smell a play on words here.

"For bath tissue Americans in particular like the softness and strength that virgin fibres provides," Dixon said. "It's the quality and softness the consumers in America have come to expect."

Longer fibres in virgin wood are easier to lay out and fluff up for a softer tissue. Dixon said the company used products from sustainbly farmed forests in Canada.


Google has no definition of virgin fibres or virgin fibers. The only definition of virgin wood is from a Canadian site:

Virgin wood: Wood, whether in the form of roundwood, sawnwood, or industrial co-products or by-products which are traceable to forest sources. Virgin wood fibre is fibre from virgin wood.


Virgin wood does not equal virgin forests. Or according to http://www.biomassenergycentre.org.uk

Virgin wood consists of wood and other products such as bark and sawdust which have had no chemical treatments or finishes applied. Wood may be obtained from a number of sources which may influence it's physical and chemical characteristics.


We're not cutting down these lush grand forests(such as what's seen when you click on their link to "virgin wood"), we're cutting down sustainable tree farms.

#11 Mr. Scot

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:32 PM

Okay, if environmentalists are gonna tell me how I can wipe my a$$, now they've gone TOO FAR!!! :incazzato:

#12 sunbunny

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:35 PM

I'm not giving up my charmin!!

#13 engine9

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:50 PM

dammit. back to corncobs I guess.

#14 Delhommey

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:15 PM

Do the cheesewheel sized rolls I steal from Dairy Queen count?

#15 Matt Foley

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:49 PM

Do the cheesewheel sized rolls I steal from Dairy Queen count?


No. That's John Wayne toilet paper. Rough, tough, and don't take no poo off of no liberals.


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