Tigers or Toilet Paper? You Don’t Have to Choose.

WWF Tiger and Toilet Paper

“The toilet paper on your grocery store shelves may have a direct impact on the 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.” Image courtesy of WWF. Please buy only FSC- certified and recycled-fiber paper products

The green dense rain forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra are the only place in the entire world where elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans live together.  But, since 1985, Sumatra has lost over half of its forest to the pulp and paper and palm oil industries. With only an estimated 400  Sumatran tigers left in the wild, we must all stand together to protect the last remaining habitat for our big cousins.

The World Wildlife Federation, (WWF) hunted down the connection between the United States toilet paper and tissue products and the destruction of tropical forests on the other side of the world.  What WWF found out is that the end products from the deforestation of the Sumatran forests are showing up on the United States supermarket shelves and in restaurants, hotels, schools and homes.

Asia Pulp & Paper is responsible for more Sumatran forest destruction than any other single company

The fastest growing brand of toilet paper in the United States, Paseo and Livi are made with paper from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) which is responsible for more forest destruction than any other single company!  You might say you are not familiar with these brands but they might be camouflaged as private label or store brands where you shop. In recent years, APP has greatly expanded into the tissue market, and U.S. affiliates Solaris Paper and Mercury Paper now produce Paseo, Livi and many other private label brands. These products are marketed by Oasis Brands

WWF stalked the trail of the APP fibers through Nielsen retail data to find the biggest U.S. grocery chains that carried  Paseo products in 2011. The organization then contacted those companies to make them aware of the link between Paseo, APP and rain forest destruction, and to encourage these grocery chains to stop sourcing these brands until APP changes its practice of deforestation and transitions into a sustainable plantation based business.

WWF doesn’t think that people should have to choose between tigers and toilet paper, and responsible U.S. companies should not source tissue products that are pushing Sumatran tigers to local extinction.

What can you do?

FSC logo

Look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo

Consumers are more alert and empowered than ever before to make responsible buying decisions.

  • Stop buying Paseo and Livi products until APP stops clearing tropical forests and improves its practices.
  • As the easiest way to avoid these impacts, look for tissue products that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or 100% recycled.
  • Ask your grocer, retailers, schools, hotels and restaurants if they know the forest source of the tissue and paper products they carry.
  • Ask them to carry more FSC-certified and recycled paper products.

Avoid tissue products that contribute to tropical rain forest destruction and urge local stores, restaurants, schools and offices to avoid buying such products. The easiest way to do that is to look for tissue products that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or 100% recycled.

The Super Hurrah List!

These retailers stopped carrying paper products from Paseo when they learned of the forest destruction:

BI-LO, Brookshire Grocery Co. (Brookshire’s), Delhaize Group, (Food Lion and Harvey’s), Harris Teeter, Kmart, Kroger (Food 4 Less Foods Co., Ralph’s) SuperValu (Albertsons) and Weis Markets.

The Fat Tails and Hisses List!

These retailers did not respond or take action after learning about Paseo’s part in the Sumatran forest destruction:

Albertsons LLC, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, IGA, Ingles, K-VA-T (Food City), Lowes Food, Marsh, Price Chopper, Roundy’s Supermarkets (Roundy’s, Picnk’n Save, Rainbow and Copps) Save Mart, and Spartan Stores

We all have a choice when we hunt items for our homes.

Please think about the tigers, orangutans, elephants and rhinos of Sumatra and purchase only products with the FSC certification logo.  Thank you for caring for all animals big and small.

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  1. Thank you for telling me about this, Gracey. Will have to be sure that I purchase only products with the FSC certification logo.  Will check when I get home. 

  2. lisa richman says

    We won’t buy them either! Thanks for posting this!

  3. I have never seen these brands, and don’t recognize the stores because I’m in NJ. Anyway, if I see them, I definitely will not buy them.

    • I don’t see these brands either but they might be hiding behind private label brands. If we look for the FSC logo, at least we know we are supporting conservation efforts.

  4. I agree with Malia, VERY interesting!  Thanks for doing all this research!  xoxox

  5. Thank you for making us aware of this.  Interesting post, Gracey.