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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Butt out

First, they came after our toilets, and we said nothing . . .

There is a battle for America's behinds.

It is a fight over toilet paper: the kind that is blanket-fluffy and getting fluffier so fast that manufacturers are running out of synonyms for "soft" (Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first big brand to go three-ply and three-adjective).

It's a menace, environmental groups say -- and a dark-comedy example of American excess.

The reason, they say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old. They want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made from recycled paper goods.

"Recycled paper goods." Right. If I want sandpaper toilet paper, I'll go to a hotel. Even the classiests places seem to buy


Fri, 09/25/2009 - 10:40am

From the article:

The reason, they [the unnamed environmentalists] say, is that plush U.S. toilet paper is usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old.

I spent twenty years in Wisconsin surrounded by tree farms of fast-growing hybrid poplar (the natives call them "popple" trees), which was the only source that I know of to get pulp for non-recycled paper mills such as G-P's Green Bay mill which makes Quilted Northern tp. Hybrid poplar could never get to be "decades" let alone centuries old. Believe me . . . I have had 10 year old poplars on my land fall blown down because their root systems will not support tall growth.

Quilted Northern Ultra Plush, Georgia-Pacific's three-ply, top-of-the-line bath tissue, was the top-rated brand in the May 2009 issue of Consumer Reports. Gosh, I have always thought that CU, if anything, would be classified as an overly environmentally-friendly company.

Finally, from a company pamphlet:

At GP, being an environmentally responsible company is also an essential part of who we are. We work to
minimize any adverse impacts of our products and processes, promoting continuous improvement and practicing sustainable growth.

Environmentalists need to get a real job where they do not have time to make things up.

Michael B-P
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 10:57am

Well, I'm sorry: this is a world of tradeoffs and life is one BIG compromise. Either I get my fluffy virgin-wood derived toilet tissue or a cheaper water bill so I can cut down on the TP consumption by installing a European-style bidet (although a Japanese model would be just fine too; you know, the ones with programmable temperature settings and a remote so I can catch up on my 8-hour quota of television viewing time). Of course, personal computers were also promoted as a means of cutting down on paper usage and see what happened. Looks like we're stuck in a doo-doo loop!

Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:14am

"First, they came after our toilets, and we said nothing . . ."

Leo, your lede reminds me of the unforgettable Mark Steyn paraphrase of the "first they came" meme:

As Martin Niem

Bob G.
Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:15pm

A "doo-doo loop"...LMAO (and keeping my 2-ply handy)...!

Let's call it a DOOP!
(shades of Futurama)

God, what's next...a "green" form of TP?
Oh, wait...primitive man ALREADY did that...it was called LEAVES!


Fri, 09/25/2009 - 1:34pm

This problem must be wiped out immediately!