APRIL paper contains 80 pct rainforest, says a group

EoF News / 24 August 2011

Independent tests carried out by a US laboratory IPS for Markets for Change (MFC) on the APRIL (1) paper brand Lazer IT , stocked by Officeworks, has found that the paper tested contained over 80% pulp fibre from Indonesian rainforest.

Over 12 different species of mixed tropical hardwood species were found in the paper manufactured by the Indonesian paper giant APRIL and sold in Officeworks stores across Australia. These species are found in Sumatran and Indonesian tropical rainforests as featured in the recent ABC Foreign Correspondent story “Paper Tiger”.“It is shocking to see the extremely high levels of rainforest pulp in the paper that Officeworks is stocking in its stores across Australia.

MFC research shows that Officeworks is linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction through the products it sells. This ongoing destruction is critically endangering forest species such as the Sumatran tiger, orang-utan and Sumatran elephant as well as contributing to the global climate crisis through the release of carbon from ongoing forest clearance. Officeworks needs to cancel its contract with APRIL and commit to a company wide procurement policy that ensures native forests from both Indonesian and Australia do not end up in the products it sells.

Markets for Change will be seeking an urgent meeting with Officeworks to discuss these disturbing findings,” said Tim Birch CEO for Markets for Change.Mr. Birch added, “We have seen how recently Fuji Xerox state they will cancel their paper contract with APRIL, based on their sourcing of wood products from tropical forests. This testing by Markets for Change shows just how central APRIL and its Lazer IT paper brand are at providing a market for the ongoing destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests. Officeworks should follow the lead set by Fuji Xerox and cancel its contract with APRIL.”MFC is calling on all Australian retailers to stop stocking paper and tissue brands from companies such as APRIL and APP and to switch to adopting environmentally responsible procurement policies that rule out the sale of products from rainforests overseas and Australia’s native forests.

MFC is urging retailers to only stock environmentally responsible plantation and recycled paper and tissue products.Officworks is already the target of a campaign by the Wilderness Society for its stocking of the paper brand REFLEX that is produced by Australian Paper. The fibre for this paper comes from the native forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria where mammals and birds such as the Leadbeaters Possum and Powerful Owl are endangered.“Officeworks needs to urgently address the critical issues of stocking paper derived from the ongoing destruction of native forests both here in Australia and in Indonesia.

Markets for Change believes that Officeworks can become part of the solution and not the problem by only stocking recycled paper and paper derived from environmentally responsible plantations,” said Mr. Birch of Markets for Change.A recent report issued by Markets for Change called “Retailing the Forests – Confronting the Australian Retail Sector’s involvement in Native Forest Destruction”, details the ongoing destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests.

source : Marketsforchange.org