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America’s Extravagant Toilet Paper Use Is Decimating Canada’s Ancient Forests

February 25, 2019

Canada has a problem.  It's us.  We're using too much toilet paper.

A report from the National Resources Defense Council concluded that Americans, on average, use three rolls of toilet paper each a week.  Three of the biggest suppliers of toilet paper, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Georgia-Pacific, also use no recycled matter in their product, and the majority of their toilet paper comes from boreal forests in Canada.  

Three rolls of toilet paper a week means these Canadian forests are suffering.

Anthony Swift, director of the NRDC's Canada Project, said in a news release, “Most Americans probably do not know that the toilet paper they flush away comes from ancient forests, but clear-cutting those forests is costing the planet a great deal.  Maintaining the Canadian boreal forest is vital to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.”

Environmental groups say there are recycled content and alternative fibers readily available for use in toilet paper, paper towels, and other tissues, but companies continue to rely on old production formulas, further harming these forests.

The U.S. toilet paper market nets $31 billion in revenue every year.  Americans, who make up about 4% of the world’s population, account for 20% of total toilet paper consumption.