Saturday, August 8, 2009

Marcal Challenges the Green-ness of Greenpeace

A journalist friend notes that an article headlined "Dog Bites Man" isn't much of a story, but that "Man Bites Dog" is big news.

Here's a true man-bites-dog story: A paper company is accusing Greenpeace of selling out by setting its standards for eco-friendly paper too low and for backing off on its efforts to protect Canada's boreal forest. This is the same Greenpeace that has used various tactics to embarrass such companies as Victoria's Secret, Sears, and AbitibiBowater over logging in the boreal.

Marcal Paper's criticism of Greenpeace comes barely a week after members of the environmental group were arrested while blocking the entrance to Quebec's Natural Resources Department to protest boreal logging.

The New Jersey-based maker of 100%-recycled toilet paper was commenting on Greenpeace's announcement Thursday that it was ending its "Kleercut" campaign against Kimberly-Clark. Greenpeace agreed to a truce because the maker of Kleenex promised that, by the end of 2011, at least 40% of its tissue fiber will be either recycled or FSC certified.

"Since when is 40 percent a passing grade?" Tim Spring, Marcal CEO, said in a statement issued yesterday. "While I understand the negotiating process, Greenpeace needs to rethink these standards. There is no excuse to make paper from anything but 100 percent recycled fiber, especially when you consider that paper takes up a quarter of our landfill space today."

"It is unnecessary to kill even a single additional tree to manufacture toilet paper, facial tissue, napkins or paper towels," Marcal's statement says.

So what happens next? Here's a hint from Greenpeace's Web site: "Did you know that K-C competitors Georgia Pacific and Procter & Gamble currently have policies that fail to protect the world’s forests?"


Anonymous said...

Marcal is the biggest air and water polluter in the state of NJ. The EPA has sued them for billions. For them to claim to be a green company is a joke.

EcoFacts said...

All of us at Marcal welcome valid criticism and open discussion on blogs (and everywhere), but we want you to know that “Hank” leaves comments like the one here anytime he or she sees something written about us…and leaves them anonymously, so there is no way we can get in touch and set the facts straight. The phrases used are always very similar, the kind of pattern that almost shouts, ”spam campaign.” This kind of nameless attack isn’t in the open spirit of blogs, and we think it’s a disservice to readers and to our hard-earned reputation. The simple fact is that we make our products in a manufacturing system designed to minimize our environmental impact.
We invite the person making these attacks to come pay us a visit; we have nothing to hide! We think our actions speak for themselves; otherwise, why would a group like the NRDC cite our factory in a discussion of companies leading the way environmentally in the New York metro area? (
Marcal didn’t recently “paint itself green.” We’ve been using recycled paper since 1950, long before green was in. As for the lawsuit, it was settled with no admission of wrong doing, enabling the company to emerge from bankruptcy to protect and grow jobs under a new owner and management team that understands that, if you are going to market yourself as green, you better do things right.
Are we perfect? Of course not, but we are always striving to be better. We invite anyone with questions about our practices to contact us at