How Amazon can sell toilet paper without destroying forests

The boreal forest is being logged to make toilet paper for some of the world’s largest tissue brands, including Amazon

Forests

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Amazon’s speedy online delivery makes stocking up on toilet paper easier than ever — but that toilet paper is often made by logging our precious forests like the North American boreal forest.

Each year, 1 million acres of boreal forest are logged in Canada. That’s equal to 1.5 football fields worth of forest each minute.

The boreal forest is worth more than toilet paper

The boreal forest is Earth’s vibrant green crown.

Billions of birds breed, migrate or live in the North American boreal forest. Owls, loons, warblers, sparrows, and on and on. The ruffed grouse has unique toes that allow it to snowshoe through the woods with its ruff of dark brown and black feathers puffed around its face like a stylish haircut.

But when trees from the boreal are chopped down to later become toilet paper, this precious habitat is fragmented, putting stress on the ecosystem. Caribou, wood bison, peregrine falcons and more are at risk when their homes are cut down.

The North American boreal is the world’s largest remaining intact forest. If logging continues at current rates, the forest will continue to be scarred by chainsaws, leaving roads and bald patches of stumps behind.

How Amazon can help save the boreal forest

Much of Amazon’s toilet paper is made with virgin wood fiber from forests. Recently, we gave Amazon an F grade for lack of action to reduce its impact on forests.

Amazon can turn this around, starting with its AmazonBasics and Presto! brands, which are both made by chopping down undisturbed forests. The company has made some progress already with some sustainable options that don’t harm our forests. Its Amazon Aware toilet paper is made with 100% recycled paper, and other forest-free toilet paper can be found on the company’s website.

Because Amazon has already started offering some sustainable tissue products, we know the company is capable of doing more to protect forests from logging. We’re calling on the company to make concrete commitments with clear deadlines to reduce virgin wood fibers in its tissue products.

To protect this critical forest and convince Amazon to do more, we’ll need to act together.

Add your name to our petition urging Amazon to commit to reducing the amount of virgin wood pulp fibers in its tissue products by 50% or more by 2025.

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Author

Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.