FPAC CEO Responds: Toilet paper brands fuel climate calamity

Letter by Derek Nighbor, president and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
Vancouver Sun
September 27, 2021
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Canada’s forest-products sector and its workers strongly believe that we have a shared responsibility to protect our environment and fight climate change. Our sector is proud to be an early supporter of Canada’s commitment to Paris Agreement targets and our move to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. As we consider the best path forward to achieve these goals, it is important for Canadians to have the facts about their best product choices for the planet.

An article by Colin McClelland (Financial Post, Sept. 20) is based on a report from a U.S.-based lobby organization that misrepresents the facts about how Canada’s forests are managed and how toilet paper is made.

In Canada, most fibre in toilet paper comes from wood residuals — in other words, materials that would otherwise be wood waste. Trees are a renewable resource and are sustainably harvested to make low-carbon building materials like lumber. Leftover wood chips, bark, and sawdust go into other products like toilet paper, sanitary products, biofuels, and other low carbon biomaterials. This is the circular economy in action and represents our ‘Made in Canada’ commitment to reducing waste by getting value from every part of the tree. It’s also preferable to the alternative, which would be letting wood chips pile up and risk the starting of a forest fire.

In Canada, sustainable forest management is the law. Forest companies operating in Canada’s publicly owned forests harvest at sustainable rates – this means they harvest less than 0.5 per cent of available timber per year, incorporate local values, consider biodiversity needs, and plant upwards of 600 million seedlings every year to keep our forests as forests forever.

From the Vancouver Sun, Opinions and Letters, September 27, 2021

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