GREENPEACE is calling on consumers to boycott IGA toilet paper, saying it’s linked to the destruction of endangered tiger habitats in Indonesia.
IGA is the only major supermarket chain in Australia to source paper products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) through its Australian affiliate Solaris.
It is then sold under the IGA Black and Gold, and Signature toilet paper labels.
Greenpeace has released video footage which it says shows the death of a Sumatran tiger in a hunting trap whose habitat was destroyed by APP.
There are only about 400 Sumatran tigers alive in the wild and they are classified as critically endangered.
“This tragic footage is representative of more and more instances of tigers being pushed out of their homes because of increased logging,” Greenpeace forests campaigner Reece Turner told AAP.
“These destroyed habitats are being converted into toilet paper and sold by IGA to households across Australia.”
But an IGA spokesperson said the company’s owner Metcash had been assured by Selaris they were abiding by Indonesian government conventions to protect wildlife and forests.
“Metcash conducted a comprehensive third party review on Selaris. Our auditors gave Selaris a clean bill of health,” he told AAP.
“We’re constantly reviewing our supplier arrangements to ensure they comply with the protection of flora and fauna.
“We fully support Greenpeace’s focus on protecting the forests of Indonesia and Australia.
“We too want to protect the forest and we’ve moved to ensure that all our products will be certified with PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).”
The PEFC and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are the two globally recognised forest certifiers, but Greenpeace said it doesn’t accept PEFC is a reputable model for certifying environmental sustainability.
“Solaris Paper in Australia supplies products manufactured using materials which have a combination of certified and verified pulp and are sourced from verified legal plantations,” said director of corporate affairs at Solaris Steve Nicholson.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Solaris said the tiger seen in the video footage was caught in a trap set illegally by local villagers in a forest marked with signs prohibiting trespassing and hunting.
“The death of any Sumatran Tiger is a tragic situation,” she said.
“Unfortunately human-tiger conflict has long been a reality of life in Indonesia.
“The suggestion by Greenpeace that any of APP’s direct or supplier operations would be, in whole or part, responsible for the death of a Sumatran Tiger is not only grossly inaccurate but deeply offensive to everyone in the APP family.”
Woolworths ended their contract with APP in 2008 after they were unable to verify that its paper products were sourced sustainably.
No Coles brand paper products are sourced from APP or Solaris, Coles spokesman Jim Cooper told AAP on Tuesday.
“It’s a conscious policy on our part to source paper products with sustainable practices and we require all manufacturers to supply sustainability certification,” he said.
Companies such as Kraft, Nestle, Target, Fuji Xerox, Tesco, Adidas and Carrefour have ended deals with APP in recent years following environmental concerns.