One ply is enough

Conservationists target the use of plush toilet paper

Environmentalists are asking American consumers to steer clear of super-soft toilet paper.

Softer wood fibers come from old trees, often found in old-growth forests. Conservationists note the environmental value of the trees, which “scrub” carbon dioxide and provide habitat for innumerable species.

This plush product, activists say, is the pinnacle of consumer excess.

“It’s like the Hummer product for the paper industry,” Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council told The Washington Post.

Toilet tissue manufacturers say consumers consistently demand a softer product, and one—Quilted Northern Ultra Plush—has begun selling a three-ply tissue. However, activists from Greenpeace appear to have made some headway with another company; Kimberly-Clark (makers of Kleenex and Cottonelle toilet paper) has vowed to make its tissue products with 40 percent recycled paper or sustainable forests by 2011.