NOVEMBER 3, 2005
5:31 PM

CONTACT: Greenpeace
Pamela Wellner, Forest Campaigner in San Francisco, (415) 730-0105. Nancy Hwa, Greenpeace Communications, (202) 319-2432. Images

Kimberly-Clark: Flushing Ancient Forests Down the Toilet
Demonstrations across Canada and the US spotlight company's role in ancient forest destruction
WASHINGTON - November 3 - Environmentalists demonstrated in over 160 Canadian and American cities today against Kimberly-Clark as part of an International Day of Action to Save the Boreal Forest (1). Kimberly-Clark, the world's largest tissue product manufacturer, is destroying North America's ancient forests to make throw away products like toilet paper and tissues. (2)

In Toronto and San Francisco, Greenpeace activists set up art installations of trees being flushed down toilets, with banners reading: "Kimberly-Clark: Flushing Ancient Forests Down the Toilet". In Vancouver, they set up a mock area of clearcut forest in a public square and in Knoxville, Tennessee, a group of activists sealed off Kimberly-Clark's world administrative headquarters with yellow "Forest Crime Scene" tape and projected giant photos of areas of clearcut forest onto the building.

"Kimberly-Clark is flushing one of the world's last ancient forests down the toilet," said Pam Wellner, Greenpeace USA forest campaigner. "North American Boreal forests are vital for threatened species like the woodland caribou and to help combat climate change. Clearcutting them for throw away products when environmentally friendly alternatives exist is a crime."

Kimberly-Clark does not use any recycled materials in its 'at-home' brands such as Kleenex. Instead, the company uses over 3 million tonnes of virgin tree pulp from North America's ancient Boreal forests each year, equivalent to the weight of over 17,000 jumbo jets.

Life on Earth depends on ancient forests. They regulate our weather, filter air, clean our water and stabilize our climate and are home to two thirds of land-based life. We have destroyed most of our ancient forests; today only twenty per cent remain undamaged.

Greenpeace is calling on Kimberly-Clark to stop destroying ancient forests, to use more post-consumer recycled fiber and ensure any virgin fiber it uses comes from Forest Stewardship Council certified sources (3) Greenpeace is also calling on governments to protect large areas of ancient forests worldwide for future generations.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization, which uses non-violent, creative communication tools to put the spotlight on global environmental problems, and to drive towards solutions essential for a green and peaceful future.

Notes to editors:

(1) The International Day of Action to Save the Boreal Forest was called by a coalition of environmental groups in Canada and the U.S., which includes Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Forest Ethics, Rainforest Action Network and others. In total, over 350 protests took place across North America today. For more information on the protests, please contact Greenpeace. Over 124, 000 people have sent emails from Greenpeace's to Kimberly-Clark. Tens of thousands of more people are expect to take action against Kimberly-Clark today in support of the International Day of Action to Save the Boreal Forest.

(2) The Boreal forest stretches across North America from Alaska to the Atlantic Ocean, forming part of a "green halo" of forest that encircles the planet. The Boreal comprises 25 per cent of the planet's remaining ancient forest, and is as important to the planet as the Amazon rainforest.

(3) The FSC is the only way you can ensure that the virgin fibre is coming from environmentally and socially responsible sources.