Evidence released today reveals that Auckland based company Cottonsoft is sourcing its toilet paper from rainforests in
Indonesia, home of the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger.
The evidence is the result of an eight-month investigation by Greenpeace, the Green Party and WWF-New Zealand into
exactly where the toilet paper sold by New Zealand retailers originates from.
Cottonsoft refused to disclose where they were sourcing their toilet
paper from so samples were sent to a US laboratory for forensic testing. This confirmed the presence of mixed tropical
hardwoods (timber that
comes from rainforests) in a range of Cottonsoft products (1)
Cottonsoft are a subsidiary of the notorious conglomerate Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which has been dropped as a
supplier by major companies
around the world, including Kraft, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco and Carrefour because of their reliance on rainforest
destruction to make pulp and
Greenpeace, the Green Party and WWF-New Zealand are calling on
retailers to stop stocking Cottonsoft and other APP Products until the company commits to ending rainforest destruction.
They are also asking the public to use their consumer power to force Cottonsoft products off the shelves.
To help consumers find ‘rainforest friendly toilet paper’ a shoppers
guide was released today.
Indonesia is now the biggest supplier of imported toilet paper pulp to New Zealand, supplying one in four toilets rolls
sold in New Zealand
The destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests is one of the main threats
to the survival of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, only 400 of which are estimated to remain in the wild. It
is also an increasing source of conflict between tigers and humans.
Today Greenpeace New Zealand released shocking footage of a Sumatran
tiger that was caught in a trap and later died in an APP logging
concession in Riau, Indonesia. View footage here:
Greenpeace campaigner Nathan Argent said, “Many Kiwis would be shocked to know that by using Cottonsoft toilet paper
they could literally be wiping out some of the world’s most endangered species.”
“We’re asking customers to tell retailers to stop selling toilet paper that has come from trashed rainforests.”
“The rainforest and its communities are already being destroyed by illegal logging. Trashing rainforests to make toilet
paper is simply obscene”, said Green Party forestry spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
WWF-New Zealand’s Executive Director Chris Howe said, “Many New Zealanders will want to make sure their shopping choices
are not harming forests and wildlife in Indonesia. We encourage people to help ensure the forest homes of endangered
tigers and orangutans remain in tact by using the consumer guide to make the right choice at the checkout.”
Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more
than one million hectares of rainforest are being cleared every year. Rainforest destruction is also acknowledged as a
major driver of climate change.
(1) A full briefing on how the investigation into the New Zealand toilet roll industry and testing of paper was
conducted is available on request.
(3)Import data provided by Statistics NZ and analysed by AZTEC.