U.S. retailer Dollar General has stopped sourcing paper products from controversial brand Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which has targeted 20 companies for selling APP-sourced tissue and paper towels.
APP has been under fire for years for deforestation on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the last home to the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), and Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), each of which is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List.
“Dollar General’s commitment to stop sourcing from tiger forests is good news for conservation. Their decision illustrates that companies—and consumers—can use their purchasing power to support more responsibly-sourced forest products,” Linda Walker, a WWF forest expert, said about the decision. Dollar General operates over 10,000 stores around the U.S.
Sumatra has lost nearly half of its forest cover since 1985, a major driver of which has been pulp and paper plantations. In addition to putting numerous species at risk of extinction, deforestation has also wrought land conflict with locals and produced significant greenhouse gas emissions.
APP has missed three self-imposed deadlines to stop sourcing its paper products from natural forest, and is now working with The Forest Trust (TFT) to set up a new sustainability plan. WWF, itself, once partnered with APP to do the same, but dropped the partnership when they deemed the company wasn’t making progress.
APP products are still found in the U.S. under several subsidiaries, including Mercury Paper, Solaris Paper, Papermax, Global Paper Solutions and Eagle Ridge Paper./source