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Kleenex Maker to Reduce Use of Old-Growth Timber

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 1:39 PM

The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a giant in the paper-goods industry, has bowed to pressure from Greenpeace and agreed to reduce the amount of old-growth forest cut down to make its Kleenex and toilet paper.

The paper company and the environmental group announced that news Wednesday morning in Washington. By 2011, Kimberly-Clark said, it will get 40 percent of the wood for tissue products sold in North America from recycled paper or from "environmentally responsible" lumber operations.

In return, Greenpeace said it would end its four-year-old "Kleercut" campaign, whose name was a play on Kleenex. That campaign aimed to shame Kimberly-Clark into ending its use of old-growth timber, including some from far-north Canadian forests.

"I believe this agreement is good for the environment and good for business," said Scott Paul, director of the forest campaign for Greenpeace USA.

Wednesday's announcement means that Kimberly-Clark will increase its use of recycled paper and sustainably harvested timber, which accounted for about 30 percent of tissue fiber last year.

The company's brands also include Scott and Cottonelle toilet paper.

Kimberly-Clark officials said they aren't planning to switch to 100 percent recycled fiber for toilet paper, because that produces paper that is too coarse for many American consumers.

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