Kmart, Supervalu, 6 Other Supermarkets Drop APP Toilet Paper over Forest Concerns

by | Feb 9, 2012

Kmart, Kroger, BI-LO, Harris Teeter, Supervalu, Weis Markets, Brookshire Grocery Company and Delhaize Group (owner of Food Lion) have all decided to stop carrying tissue products made with fiber from Asia Pulp & Paper, the World Wildlife Fund says in a new report.

Don’t Flush Tiger Forests: Toilet Paper, U.S. Supermarkets, and the Destruction of Indonesia’s Last Tiger Habitats charges that APP is destroying Indonesian rain forests and tiger habitats. In particular WWF is calling on U.S. grocery chains to stop carrying Paseo and Livi tissue products, which are made with APP material. The day before WWF published its report, Paseo and Livi distributor Oasis called on grocery chains to audit its supply chain.

The WWF contacted 20 grocers sourcing the largest amounts of Paseo products, and said that 12 either did not commit to stop selling Paseo, or did not respond. They were Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, IGA, Ingles, K-VA-T/Food City, Lowes Food Stores, Marsh, Price Chopper, Roundy’s (including Pick’n Save, Rainbow and Copps), Save Mart and Spartan.

WWF finds that APP is rapidly expanding into the U.S. market with paper products from areas that are the last home for critically endangered Sumatran tigers, elephants, and orangutans. Oasis Brands announced last year that Paseo had become the fastest-growing brand of toilet paper in the U.S., the WWF reports. Paseo and Livi are also marketed as “away-from-home” products used in public restrooms in restaurants, office buildings, schools and hotels.

APP distributes its tissue, paper and paper-based packaging products through a number of North American-based subsidiaries and affiliates, including Solaris Paper, Mercury Paper, Paper Excellence, Global Paper Solutions, and Eagle Ridge Paper, WWF says.

Since it began operating in Indonesia in 1984, WWF estimates that APP and its affiliates have cleared nearly 5 million acres of tropical forest on the island of Sumatra, which equals an area roughly the size of 4 million football fields, or larger than the state of Virginia.

APP was a prime target of Greenpeace campaigning last year, with the environmental group accusing the company’s pulpwood suppliers of clearing some of Indonesia’s most ecologically important forests. After the campaign launched, Lego and Hasbro dropped APP as a packaging supplier  and Mattel put a freeze on purchases from APP.

Oasis CEO Philip Rundle has said that APP is regularly assessed and certified by many of the world’s leading environmental auditors and authorities on sustainable forest management, and that continuous, rigorous auditing has shown that its products come from sustainable sources.

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