Greenpeace, WWF and the Greens from New Zealand accused Cottonsoft to fuel rainforest destruction in Indoensia. Cottonsoft refused to supply information on its suppliers, saying Greenpeace could not provide assurance that any information supplied would be treated as commercially sensitive. But forensic evidence show that its toilet rolls contain Indonesian rainforest fibre. The rainforests that are being felled for the paper are threatening the survival of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, of which just 400 are believed to live in the wild.Â

Statistics New Zealand’s household economic survey showed that New Zealand households alone – not to mention businesses and other organisations – spent $124 million on toilet paper last year. Cottonsoft, and two of its subsidiary brands, Kiwisoft and Paseo, have been labelled “red” – the least green category – by Greenpeace’s consumer guide.

Cottonsoft disputes Greenpeace’s claims. “These allegations are entirely erroneous – says Steve Nicholson, Cottonsoft’s corporate affairs director – All of Cottonsoft’s four retail brands have certification under PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), the world’s largest forest certification programme. Additionally, Cottonsoft’s supplier, APP [Asia Pulp and Paper], conserves rare and endangered species, and places the protection of species, such as the Sumatran tiger, at the heart of its operational and corporate social responsibility policies.”

According to Cottonsoft, parent company APP uses PEFC certified wood for making pulp. Greenpeace argues not only are those standards less rigorous than the FSC standards but Cottonsoft fails to meet the PEFC grade that only plantation timber be used in its products. Forensic tests carried out on Cottonsoft products showed the presence of rainforest timber. “Either Cottonsoft is deliberately misleading New Zealanders by claiming all their products are certified as sustainable or Cottonsoft has accidentally admitted that PEFC- certified products contain rainforest timber, which places them at the heart of an international scandal,” Greenpeace says.