Paper testing company refuses to stand by Greenpeace’s main allegation against Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)
November 3, 2011: Claims by Greenpeace International that two Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) products were ‘proven’ to contain ‘Indonesian rainforest fibre’ have no scientific basis, it has been confirmed.
Greenpeace employed a US-based paper testing company, Integrated Paper Services (IPS), to conduct fibre tests on APP toy packaging in North America and tissue products in New Zealand.
The Amsterdam-based NGO then launched a global campaign to threaten and bully toy companies, such as Mattel, Hasbro, Lego and others to stop doing business with APP - on the basis of the following claim:
“Forensic testing shows that packaging used by leading toy brands regularly contains Indonesian rainforest fibre.”
It has been confirmed this statement has no basis in scientific fact.
In a letter to APP dated October 25th, Mr Bruce R. Shafer, CEO of Integrated Paper Services, made this comment on the sample tests which were commissioned by Greenpeace:
“IPS is only able to determine the types of fibres present in such samples. We have not, and are unable to identify country of origin of the samples. This type of assertion would need to be based on data outside of our findings. Therefore we are unable to comment on the credibility of the statements Greenpeace has made regarding country of origin.”
Mr Shafer added that ‘some mixed tropical hardwoods’ were found in the samples and that IPS stood by that finding.
But IPS did not conduct any tests to determine whether the samples were actually fibres from recycled material.
In a statement issued on June 8th, APP made it clear that 95% of its packaging materials came from recycled paper. The remaining 5% is sourced from PEFC certified forests around the world.
Aida Greenbury, APP Managing Director, said:“Greenpeace based its entire global campaign against APP on a single premise: it had commissioned tests which proved that APP products contained Indonesian rainforest fibre. The company Greenpeace asked to carry out the tests has admitted this claim cannot be justified.
“If there were any MTH materials in the packaging, it is highly likely (95%) that they came from recycled material. Or they came from a PEFC-certified, sustainably managed forest in another part of the world, for example South America.”
MTH fibres can come from sustainably-managed forests in several tropical regions. Both PEFC and FSC-certified products can contain traces of MTH, as recent tests in Australia have confirmed.
Ms Greenbury added: “We think Greenpeace owes the global toy industry an explanation: it has bullied and threatened them to stop doing business with both APP and Indonesia on the basis of a totally false claim.”
“We welcome a constructive dialogue with leading players in the toy industry, such as Mattel, Lego and Hasbro, to end the ban on Indonesian products and support a developing country which has made enormous strides to end deforestation in recent years.”
“We also call on IPS, a respected North American paper services company, to end its association with Greenpeace before any more false claims are made regarding its testing results.”
APPENDIX: SAMPLE QUOTES FROM GREENPEACE WHICH HAVE SHOWN TO BE FALSE
“Forensic testing shows that the packaging used by leading toy brands regularly contains Indonesian rainforest fibre.”
“This forensic evidence links major players in the toy sector to the destruction of Indonesia'srainforests.”
"By analysing the fibres in Barbie packaging and digging into the commercial links between various companies, we've been able to link the carbon-rich forests and peatlands of Indonesia with the packaging of toys on sale in shops around the world." Greenpeace blog, June 7th, 2011
"Greenpeace forensic research into the packaging used for Barbie, the world's most famous toy, found timber fibres from Indonesian rainforests.” Greenpeace Australia Pacific blog, June 14th, 2011
“If a product contains mixed tropical hardwood (MTH), it comes from Indonesia.”
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is brand umbrella for paper products manufactured by a number of mills in Indonesia, inter alia PT. Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk, PT. Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills, PT. Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk, PT. Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries, PT. Ekamas Fortuna and PT. The Univenus in Indonesia. APP markets its products to over 120 countries. The majority of APP’s production facilities hold Chain-of-Custody certification from LEI and PEFC.
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