By some estimates, the world is losing 50 million acres of tropical rainforest a year -- an area double the size of Virginia. On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, much of the destruction has been traced to a Chinese Company called Asia Pulp and Paper or APP. The family that owns APP also owns and supplies Mercury Paper -- a company that moved to Virginia after [Gov. McDonnell] offered a $250,000 incentive to relocate from California. APP was recently singled out by Greenpeace, when laboratory analysis showed its paper towels, cardboard and toilet paper were made from rainforest trees. [...]Instead of urging the company to clean up its act to make its Virginia operation sustainable in the long term, McDonnell has parroted the company's attacks on anyone who would dare accuse Mercury of wrongdoing. No wonder McDonnell spends so much time trying to regulate women's bodies - otherwise people might realize the only way he can create jobs is by shoveling tax dollars to companies accused of harming wildlife.
The company points proudly to a sanctuary it established for critically endangered tigers, but World Wildlife’s Jan Vertefeuille says APP’s taking down that rainforest too: "We found out, through satellite imagery, that APP was clearing part of its own tiger sanctuary. They had told the government that they were going to protect this area, and they were actually clear cutting it."
So what are the products you should make sure to avoid, and which stores are supporting WWF's efforts?
Products made with APP fiber, such as toilet paper, paper towels and tissue, are increasingly landing in grocery stores, restaurants, schools and hotels across the country under the Paseo and Livi brand names.This controversy drags on because manufacturers are convinced Americans are so pampered that we will only wipe our asses with the finest, most pristine old-growth forest paper our planet has left to offer.
Eight large retailers – BI-LO, Brookshire Grocery Company, Delhaize Group (owner of Food Lion chain), Harris Teeter, Kmart, Kroger, SUPERVALU, and Weis Markets – have decided to stop carrying tissue products made with APP fiber during the last several months.
Doing the right thing here is really easy: Make sure any paper towels, toilet paper or napkins you buy are made from at least some recycled content, the higher the better. If the store doesn't carry any, ask to speak to the manager and let her know you're a loyal customer and they risk letting you down if they don't improve their selection.
I'm also sending an email to Harris Teeter, my grocery store, saying thanks for dropping APP products. Check out the WWF website to see what stores are still carrying APP.
UPDATE 2/5/2013: APP has agreed to adopt a new Forest Conservation Policy.