Letter to the Editor: In response to EarthTalk column on toilet paper

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Dear Editor:

Canada’s forest products sector and its workers strongly believe that we have a shared responsibility to protect our environment and fight climate change. Our sector is proud to be an early supporter of Canada’s commitment to Paris Agreement targets and our move to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

Despite this, an item recently appearing in your publication, “It’s time to talk about toilet paper”, misrepresents how Canada’s forests are managed and how toilet paper is made.

In Canada, trees are sustainably harvested to make low carbon building materials like lumber. Leftover wood chips, bark, and sawdust go into other products like toilet paper, sanitary products, biofuels, and other low carbon biomaterials. This represents our ‘Made in Canada’ commitment to reducing waste by getting value from every part of the tree.

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In Canada, sustainable forest management is the law. We harvest less than 0.5% of available timber per year, incorporate local values, consider biodiversity needs, and plant upwards of 600 million seedlings every year to keep our forests as forests forever.

Canada’s approach to sustainable forest management will always be about balance, local input, and creating environmental, social, and economic benefits for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Derek Nighbor, President and CEO, Canadian Forest Products Association of Canada

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