Americans use what they can 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper each year and the average consumer would go to the equivalent of just 384 trees for toilet paper over their lifetime. Deforestation causes a range of environmental problems, including loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity. It also contributes to climate change, as trees absorb and store carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.
Amid growing concern that brands are using sustainability best practices, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy organization, has analyzed the sourcing of the largest brands of toilet paper, facial tissue, and paper towels on the US market. Resulting scorecardreleased on Wednesday, gives failed sustainability scores for most of the major household names.
The Four of the biggest names In the country – Angel Soft, Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern – they all got F.
“As this year’s scorecard shows, America’s largest textile brands are failing climate, communities, and biodiversity by continuing to create their products out of forests like the Canadian boreal, which Stores more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem,” Ashley Jordan of the NRDC wrote in Blog post explaining the ratings. She added that the biggest brands are made “almost exclusively from virgin forest fibers and fail to avoid sourcing from primary forests.”
Virgin forest fiber refers to any wood that was first cut and used. Because cutting down trees releases the carbon dioxide stored inside, recycled paper has a much lower carbon footprint, because it only produces emissions from the energy used to manufacture and transport it. Tissues made from recycled paper produce a third of the carbon emissions of tissues made from virgin wood, according to the Paper Environment Network. Paper Calculator 4.0.0.
Of the 58 types of toilet paper that the NRDC registered, 12 received either A or A+ because they are made from post-consumer recycled paper. The vast majority of these products are specifically eco-friendly, including Green Forest, Natural Value, Nature’s Promise, Seventh Generation Soft and Strong, and Marcal 100% Recycled.
Both the Trader Joe’s brand and Daily Value of 100% Recycled Whole Foods both received A+ grades. This stands in contrast to some store brands from other major retailers. Wegman’s, Stop & Shop/Giant Food, Publix Super Soft, Publix Ultra Strong, Kirkland (a Costco store brand), Amazon Basics, and every variation of Walmart’s Great Value store brand all earned an F.
“We’re looking into it, it’s the first time we’ve seen it from the rating,” a Walmart spokesperson told Yahoo News when asked for comment. As indicated by Walmart’s website sustainable forests The policy, which sets a goal “by 2025, Walmart’s goal is that private-brand products made from pulp, paper, and wood will be deforested and diversion-free.” (Conversion in this use means that forest land is converted to another use, such as agriculture, by felling its trees.)
Different products from the same brand often get very different grades. While the regular Trader Joe’s got an A+, Trader Joe’s Super Soft got the F, for example.
The same also applies to different brands of the same manufacturer. For example, Georgia-Pacific Cottonelle manufactures, and Kimberly-Clark manufactures Quilted Northern, both of which have F grades. But these companies also offer environmentally friendly alternatives. The Georgia-Pacific Pacific Blue Basic and the Scott Essential Standard Roll from Kimberly-Clark both earned a B+. Procter & Gamble, which makes Charmin, does not make any recycled paper toilet paper.
“For the first time ever, the Georgia Pacific region has landed itself among the grades of B-plus after making the choice of 100 percent recycled toilet paper available directly to consumers; Kimberly Clark has made the same move. last yearJordan Books. “This development leaves P&G last among the US ‘Big Three’ tissue companies to continue to have straight F scores across all of its tissue brands, including Charmin, Puffs and Bounty.”
Yahoo News contacted all three companies.
“The Georgia Pacific region depends on the forests and the recycled content of the wood/fibers we use to make paper and building products that people want and need. With regard to these raw materials, we have always been careful about the way natural resources are sourced and used.” “We are committed to sustainable forests and take Effective steps to ensure that the virgin (tree) fibers used in our products are sourced responsibly, regardless of location.We are committed to helping maintain healthy forests now and in the future – not only to use available resources more efficiently, but also to pursue and promote good practices based on science to protect and enhance forests.”
The Georgia Pacific region also referred to a website where Emphasizes Logging of their produce is sustainable because new trees are planted instead of felled trees.
Procter & Gamble made a similar claim. “Responsible sourcing is an important issue not only for our business, but more importantly, for the environment and the people who depend on it,” Procter & Gamble spokeswoman Tonya Elrod told Yahoo News in an email. “Our sources prevent deforestation, respect the rights of indigenous peoples (FPIC), and protect biodiversity. For every tree Charmaine uses, at least two are regrowth.”
Kimberly Clark did not respond to Yahoo news.
Some environmental experts say replanting is not a viable alternative to preserving existing trees. Logging can destroy wildlife habitat, which is not immediately replaced by a much smaller and smaller tree in its place. A 2019 study also found that new trees It contains fewer nutrientsBecause of the effect of logging on the soil. Replanted trees are also often of the same species, creating an ecosystem that is less rich than found in nature and making the forest More likely Infection with fungi or invasive species.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) scorecard also examined paper towels and facial tissues, and found a similar range of performance. The same eco-friendly brands like Trader Joe’s, Green Forest, and Natural Value produced A-rated paper towels and facial tissues. But several of the more well-known brands, including Brawny Paper Towels (produced by Georgia-Pacific) and Kleenex Everyday (produced by P&G), have earned Fs.