Newsprint and Paper Producers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
According to the World Watch Institute, only 36% of the world’s primary forests remain intact. Most of the forests were cleared in the last three decades of the twentieth century. Brazil, Russia and Canada have the largest remaining intact forests in the world.
Poverty is the root cause of deforestation in most areas of the world, but not in North America or Europe. The driving force of deforestation in Canada is wasteful consumption, and the demand for timber and timber products such as paper determines the level of logging rates, regardless of whether these rates can sustain the natural ecology of the forest.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, only 53.3% of Canada’s primary forests remain, yet Canada is the world’s largest forest products exporter, and the world’s largest producer of newsprint. Within Canada, Ontario has the largest number of both wood and paper products manufacturing establishments, the majority being supplied by Ontario’s ancient boreal forest.
With so little of the world’s primary forests remaining, we must alleviate the pressures of commercial logging by reducing the demand for forest products altogether.
Pulp and paper production consumes vast areas of the boreal forest, but individuals can take immediate action to reduce their use of paper, or switch to paper made from 100% post consumer waste. Post consumer waste paper is made from recovered paper material that has already been made into a paper product once before, such as old newspapers, office paper, magazines etc. Post consumer waste based papers are the best choice in forest conservation.
Most North American logging companies have timberland holdings in both Canada and the United States. Most of these companies produce both wood and pulp, and some produce finished paper products such as newsprint and printing paper. Other paper producers source their pulp from logging companies but do not log timber directly.
Cascade Inc. from Quebec produces fine paper products and is the leading producer of 100% post consumer waste printing papers. Their line of Rolland Enviro100 Print, Copy and Book papers are all made from 100% post consumer waste and are processed without chlorine. Envelopes are also available. They also carry paper products made from alternative fibres such as cotton but not sourced from organic growers.
Unfortunately these products are not available from retail stores Staples, Office Depot or Grand and Toy, but a list of their distributors, both suppliers and retailers are available on their website.
Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd.
Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd. Group is from Scarborough Ontario, and offers 100% post consumer waste newsprint made from old newspapers and magazines. The Atlantic Group does not produce printing papers, but it does produce alternative household paper products, such as Fiesta, April Soft and Whisper toilet paper brands made from 100% recycled fibres and bleached without chlorine. The Atlantic Group also makes Jumbo Tissue Roll toilet paper suitable for public washrooms.
Most paper producers use some form of recovered pulp in their paper and newsprint products but this tends to be a small percentage, or less than 50%, of the overall fibre content.
Catalyst Paper Corporation
Catalyst Paper, from Vancouver, B.C., produces paper for magazines and catalogues, newsprint, directory paper for telephone books, direct mail and advertising flyers. Their fibre supply consists of:
54% sawmill wood chips
30% pulp logs;
12% sawdust, and;
4% recycled de-inked pulp
Their product line is commercially named as Electrabrite, Electrastar, Marathon newsprint, Catalyst directory, Silverliner and Chromiumliner. Woodchips and sawdust are a result of sawing logs into lumber and are not considered recycled waste content. They are considered virgin (tree) fibre.
Weyerhaeuser is the largest producer of softwood lumber in the world, and produces paper through its partnership with Japan’s Nippon Paper Industries jointly labelled, North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC). Weyerhaeuser has access to 2.41 million hectares of timberland in Ontario’s boreal forest including prime woodland caribou habitat.
Even though, Weyerhaeuser has a large recycling collection program, where it organizes and recovers paper material from private companies such as offices, it does not produce 100% post consumer waste paper products.
Currently Weyerhaeuser logs in the Trout Lake Management Unit in north western Ontario, the traditional lands of the Grassy Narrows First Nations. Grassy Narrows has had a longstanding dispute with Weyerhaeuser claiming the company is logging without the consent of local indigenous people who have legal, customary and ethical rights to the land. Weyerhaeuser also buys approximately 50% of the fibre produced by Abitibi-Consolidated logging on Grassy Narrows’ land in the Whiskey Jack Forest Management Unit, in north western Ontario.
Click here for more information on Grassy Narrows.
Kimberly-Clark is the world/s largest tissue producer. It produces many common household paper items such as Kleenex tissue, Kotex and Poise feminine products, Depend and Good Nites, Huggies and Pull Ups diapers, Scott products and Cottonelle bathroom tissue.
All these products are made from virgin (tree) fibre, that most likely originates from Kimberly-Clark’s timberland operations in north central Ontario in an area called the Kenogami Forest – prime woodland caribou habitat. According to Greenpeace, Kimberly-Clark used 3.3 million tons of virgin fibre to produce over 190 billion sheets of facial tissue for their customers in 2004.
Click here for or more information.
Tembec has the largest holdings in Ontario. They log in central Ontario’s mixed wood forest and the northern boreal forest. Tembec uses well over 7 million cubic metres of logs each year to produce a range of forest products including flooring, veneer, furniture, pulp (used in papers, pharmaceuticals and food additives), publishing papers and newsprint. None of their paper products are 100% post consumer waste. Their newsprint is primarily produced in Canada at their mills in Kapuskasing, Ontario and Pine Falls, Manitoba.
Tembec clearcuts in the most northern boundaries of the commercial forest in Ontario and deep into woodland caribou habitat.
Companies listed here produce 100% post consumer waste paper products but have dismal social and environmental practices.
Abitibi-Consolidated recently merged with Bowater, and is the single largest newsprint producer in North America with 4 ‘sustainable forest licences” across northern Ontario totalling 4.570.424 hectares. While Abitibi-Consolidated does produce 100% post consumer waste newsprint from its production plant in Thorold Ontario, the bulk of its newsprint is derived from virgin fibre. Only three of its 16 mills - Thorold, Ontario, Snowflake Arizona, and Bridgewater, England - produce paper products from 100% post consumer waste. Its newsprint mill operating from the Iroquois Falls Forest in north eastern Ontario only produces virgin (tree) fibre products. This company does not offer 100% post consumer waste office paper.
Their commercial newsprint is marketed under ABINEWS* Their commercial printing paper is marketed under a variety of names all beginning with "ABI" such as: ABIBRITE*, ABICAL*, ABIBOOK* etc.
Abitibi-Consolidated also logs in the Whiskey Jack Forest Unit in north western Ontario. The Whiskey Jack Forest falls squarely on the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of the Grassy Narrows First Nations. Grassy Narrows has sustained a blockade of logging roads within the Whiskey Jack Forest for the last five years. Despite protest and opposition by Grassy Narrows, the Government of Ontario, has granted Abitibi-Consolidated the right to log the land until 2024.
For more information on Grassy Narrows, please visit: www.freegrassy.org
Boise Cascade is not to be confused with Cascade Inc. Boise Cascade carries office paper - Boise Aspen 100 and Boise Aspen Colour Copy paper both made with 100% post consumer waste and is chlorine free. Their newsprint is marketed and sold exclusively through Abitibi-Consolidated.
Domtar clearcuts in a well established woodland caribou calving habitat along the shores of Lake Nipigon in north western Ontario. During calving periods, both adult and young caribou are extremely vulnerable to predation, so these areas must be protected. Domtar’s ‘sustainable forest license’ lies between the boundary of Wabakimi Wilderness Park and Lake Nipigon, timberland traversed by caribou while moving between the two protected areas.
Domtar produces only one office paper from 100% post consumer waste, Sandpiper vellum paper. This is a good quality watermark paper well-suited for letterhead and is often available at commercial printing houses and alternative paper stores.
Staples carries its own name brand of 100% post consumer copy paper. It is bleached without the use of chlorine or chlorine compounds, and is advertised as an ideal all purpose and copy paper. Staples also carries 100% post consumer waste ‘Fine Business Paper’ under the brand name Fraser Papers Genesis.
Grand and Toy
Grand and Toy carries Boise Aspen 100, 100% post consumer waste all purpose paper.
Office Depot does not carry any paper product made from 100% post consumer waste paper.
Commercial printing houses should be able to order any paper upon request.
There are companies logging in Ontario’s high boreal region, such as Tembec and Domtar, that have obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification. FSC Certification is considered the safest ‘eco-label’ for wood and paper products, and is endorsed by many of the world’s leading environmental organizations.
The Peaceful Parks Coalition does not support FSC approved forest products from primary forests, simply because primary forests are rapidly disappearing worldwide, and in Ontario, the FSC standards allow large-scale clearcuts in the boreal forest. Since alternatives are readily available, our campaign focuses on alleviating pressure from the world’s last remaining ancient forests by encouraging the purchase of alternative products.
Click here for more information on the Forest Stewardship Council.
Click here for more information on our newspaper campaign.
Source: Company websites, Global Forest Watch (Canada’s Forest Product Mills, 2004); World Watch Institute (Vital Signs 2006); Greenpeace International (Buying Forest Destruction 1999); United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (Global Forest Resource Assessment 2005).