You may be cleaning up in the bathroom using an old-growth tree

By Gerald Porter Jr., Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

With everyone spending more time at home, demand for residential toilet paper is way up. That's bad news for the world's oldest forests. Unlike the industrial rolls found in many offices and restaurants, the cushy TP Americans love for their own bathrooms is made almost entirely of trees cut from virgin forests. Procter & Gamble Co. - maker of Charmin, the country's most popular brand - has defended the practice in part by saying it plants a tree for every one it cuts down. It also pays to protect trees in other parts of the world as a way of offsetting some of its greenhouse gas emissions. But carbon accounting isn't that simple. Forests store carbon in the soil, not just in trees, and that isn't so easily replaced.

A rundown of how the major manufacturers treat their trees:

- Procter & Gamble

Brand: Charmin

Made from virgin forest? Yes

Replants trees? Yes, 1:1


Buys carbon offsets? Yes, but not to cover emissions from TP

The company says: "Every decision we make is guided by what's best for consumers and the environment. P&G has committed to using recycled fibers where it can have the most benefit for our consumers." - P&G spokesperson

- Unilever

Brand: Seventh Generation


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