That toilet paper in your bathroom? It’s destroying some of the world’s most critical forests.

The coronavirus pandemic put toilet paper in the spotlight, but many shoppers don’t realize major brands like Charmin are exacerbating the world’s climate crisis by refusing to create more sustainable products.

The boreal forest in Canada is the largest intact forest on Earth and is vital to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Yet toilet paper manufacturers like Procter & Gamble continue to rely on fiber that is being clearcut from the boreal forest to make their products. Photo:

The amount of ink that has been shed about toilet paper since the coronavirus pandemic began is truly astounding.

Logging in intact forests like the boreal increases the likelihood that viruses will jump from wild animals to humans, and can make communities more susceptible to devastating fires and floods. Photo:

Global crises: Coronavirus & climate change

Conversations are also starting to surface about the intersection between climate change and pandemics, in the form of forest destruction.

This policy confirms what many of us working in the environmental movement already know: We cannot solve the climate crisis, fix the biodiversity crisis, or prevent future public health crises without prioritizing the protection of forests.

It’s time to have an honest conversation about toilet paper’s role in destroying forests.

The boreal forest in Canada is the largest intact forest on Earth. Often called the “Amazon of the North”, the boreal stores more carbon per acre than almost any other forest type and is vital to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Illustration: Franke James

The issue with tissue

The Issue with Tissue reveals leading TP manufacturers use zero recycled content in their at-home toilet paper brands, instead relying on trees clear-cut from the boreal forest in Canada.

So why do manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, maker of America’s #1 toilet paper brand Charmin, continue to rely on fiber from the boreal to make their products?

Climate activists protest outside Procter & Gamble’s headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo:

Creating products that are better for the planet

Polling shows 85% of Americans want greener toilet paper, and the majority of consumers are concerned their products come from trees clearcut from ancient forests like the boreal.

Logging in the boreal forest in Canada is driving the decline of caribou and other species, but Procter & Gamble continues to refuse to ensure their fiber sourcing policies are in line with thresholds necessary for the long-term survival of boreal caribou, a threatened species and indicator of forest health. Photo: Ted Simonett

Intact forests = resilient communities

When you say it out loud, it seems obvious. Intact forests form the foundation of resilient communities, whether it’s mitigating against climate change or protecting communities against fires, floods, or the spread of disease.

It’s time to stop flushing our forests.

We challenge corporations and governments to treat people and the environment with respect, because our lives depend on it.

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