Environmentally Friendly 'green' Toilet Paper: Destined to be Rough?

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., Sept. 24 (UPI) — Some U.S. toilet paper makers say they’re taking steps to make their product “green,” which will make it less soft and fluffy but better for the environment.

But others say U.S. customers still want the soft stuff, so they’re still selling it.

“At what price softness?” Marcal Manufacturing LLC Chief Executive Officer Tim Spring told The Washington Post.

“Should I contribute to clear-cutting and deforestation because the big (marketing) machine has told me that softness is important? You’re not giving up the world here.”

His Elmwood Park, N.J., company is trying to persuade customers to try 100 percent recycled paper.

But Georgia-Pacific LLC spokesman James Malone told the Post a segment of customers “is quite demanding of products that are soft.”

Last year, the Atlanta company sold 24 million packages, or $144 million worth, of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush, a three-ply paper described on its Web site as “a luxurious difference you can see and feel.”

The challenge is in how toilet paper is made, the Post said.

Each sheet is a web of wood fibers. Fibers from old trees are longer, producing a smoother and more supple web.

Fibers made from recycled paper such as magazines, newspapers or computer printouts are shorter, producing a web that is often rougher.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Other, Recycling & Waste
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