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Environmentalists Say Our Love Of Charmin TP Levels Forests

Two protestors quietly disrupted the Procter & Gamble Co. shareholders meeting this week with signs calling on the company to stop clear-cutting Canada's boreal forest for use in its Charmin brand toilet paper products. When CEO David Taylor was questioned during the meeting by Shelley Vineyard of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Taylor said P&G seeks to preserve forests and wildlife.

Before the shareholders meeting more than a dozen people protested outside P&G headquarters. Some handed out toilet paper made from recycled products. One of the main complaints the Natural Resources Defense Council makes is that many leading brands, including Charmin, rely on virgin pulp from forests rather than using  recycled content or sustainably sourced alternative fibers to manufacture their toilet paper. This is outlined in the NRDC's "Issue with Tissue" report.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the "Issue with Tissue" report are Natural Resources Defense Council spokesperson Shelley Vineyard; and Seventh Generation Sustainability and Authenticity Director Martin Wolf.

Cincinnati Edition reached out to P&G for an interview. No one from the company was available for the show because, according to P&G, the company was meeting with its pulp suppliers to determine how it can increase its percent of Forest Stewardship Council certification, protect caribou, and respect the rights of indigenous peoples. 

P&G did release this statement:

"When you use Charmin Toilet Tissue, you are making a responsible choice. Charmin is Forest Stewardship Counsel© (FSC©) and Rainforest Alliance certified, sourced from responsibly-managed forests. For every tree we use, at least one is regrown. And, we have improved the strength and absorbency of our toilet tissue, so today people can use up to 4X less paper with Charmin.

And, we are going further. We have announced a set of industry-leading commitments for home tissue that go beyond what it takes to make Charmin. Charmin is committed to helping protect, grow, and restore forests globally. We are:

  • Working with experts to increase the number of forests acres that are FSC certif­ied in the U.S. and Canada. FSC is a widely respected certifier. We are committed to nearly double our use of FSC certified fiber to 75% across all P&G Family Care brands in the next five years.
  • Investing a total of $20 million dollars by 2025 to accelerate research into non-wood fiber alternatives and FSC certified fast-growing forest fibers. Our goal is to develop fibers that are consumer-preferred, sustainably sourced, and can be produced at scale. We will work with external experts to strengthen these efforts and find disruptive solutions. We aspire to include greater than 50% of these environmentally preferred fibers in our products.
  • Helping the Arbor Day Foundation plant 2 million trees via the California Wildfire Restoration project. Our support will help to restore forests that have been devastated by wildfires."

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.