Will closing Tassie wood pulp mill endanger Sumatran tiger? Well it’s at least as plausible as the claim made by Greenpeace that IGA is endangering the tiger because it buys toilet paper from Asia Pulp and Paper which logs in Sumatra.
If pulp milling stops in Tasmania, demand for pulp won’t go away, and the source of supply will shift, to places like Sumatra.
Here’s Greenpeace’s justification of their claim:
Sydney, Tuesday 26 July 2011: Shocking new video footage, showing the agonising death of an endangered tiger, has been released today by Greenpeace, along with revelations linking the destruction of tiger habitats with toilet paper being sold in IGA supermarkets across Australia.
The video footage shows a Sumatran tiger, one of only around 400 remaining in the wild, caught in a wild boar trap.The tiger’s rainforest habitat is being destroyed by the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) (1), forcing the tiger to hunt for food in areas close to human activity. (2)
APP has aggressive expansion plans in Australia. Through its Australian affiliate Solaris, APP has opened a new $20 million facility in Sydney. APP’s toilet paper is being bought by IGA supermarkets and sold under the IGA-owned Black & Gold and IGA Signature brands. This contract makes IGA one of the biggest customers of APP products in Australia.
Last week Jan Cameron (founder of Kathmandu) and Graeme Wood (founder of Wotif) bought the Triabunna woodchip mill so that they could close it down. The consequences of this will be decreased supplies of woodchip from Australia and an increase in potential markets for APP and their ilk. There will always be a need for paper. It’s not as though people are going to stop wiping their bottoms after going to the toilet.
I’m waiting with baited breath for Greenpeace to announce a letter-writing campaign urging Cameron and Wood to keep the mill open. Or perhaps GetUp can organise boycotts of their businesses.