Friday, August 28, 2009


The soft toilet rolls (pictured above) demanded by Americans are reportedly causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars or fast food, according to green campaigners. “This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous,” said Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council. “Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin wood is a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution.” Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests. A campaign by Greenpeace seeks to raise consciousness among Americans about the environmental costs of their toilet habits and counter an aggressive new push by the paper industry giants to market so-called luxury brands. More than 98% of the toilet roll sold in America comes from virgin forests, said Hershkowitz. In contrast, in Europe and Latin America, up to 40% of toilet paper comes from recycled sources. Maybe Greenpeace can relax – the way all our economies are going everyone will be using old newspaper before long.