Greenpeace organized demonstrations in 18 Italian cities today. Activists entered supermarkets and labelled products which threaten the ancient temperate rainforests of British Columbia, Canada.
We've asked many producers and retailers to stop purchasing products and raw materials obtained through destructive practices in the ancient rainforests of British Columbia. Several have responded positively; others, such as Sofidel, one of the main producers of tissues (for example, the brandnames Regina, Delicarta, Nicky, Florex, Alis, Tiffany, are all derived from this pulp), have failed to give a positive response', commented Sergio Baffoni of Greenpeace. Today, we are involving consumers directly'.
The activists distributed information about the issue to consumers and labelled the products in question. Outside the supermarkets, activists opened banners saying 'PROTECT OUR FORESTS'.
The cities involved in the demonstration are: Milan, Como, Brescia, Trento, Verona, Vicenza, Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, Urbino, Livorno, Florence, Rome, Ciampino, Perugia, L'Aquila, Naples and Salerno.
Consumers want to know what's going on; they do not want to contribute to an ecological disaster - added Sergio Baffoni. Italy is the fourth largest importer of pulp from British Columbia. Much of this pulp is obtained from trees which are hundreds of years old, therefore destroying an ecosystem like no other in the world. The pulp then ends up in products such as toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels'.
This initiative follows a series of Greenpeace actions conducted over the past few weeks, including the blocking of a ship transporting this type of forest products to Europe. The February 16th action, which included the boarding of a ship in the port of Livorno, was undertaken because the ship was carrying pulp containing fibres extracted by destructive logging practices in the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Great Bear Rainforest is the Earth's last huge temperate rainforest and is the natural habitat of many species threatened by extinction. This unique ecosystem is seriously endangered by continued destructive logging activities: the clear-cutting method is used an alarming 93% of the time in this precious area.
Every year Italy imports pulp from British Columbia to the value of over $190 million.
There are practical alternatives available. Recently, in response to Greenpeace's requests, Coop Italia has agreed to certify the exclusion of pulp obtained through destructive practices from its own products, as stated in a letter signed by the Coop-Brand Products Manager. Coop has also committed to promoting alternative solutions, including increased use of recycled paper and clean technology, and is exploring the possibility of adopting a FSC certification system for wood and wood pulp products.
Greenpeace has been asking to Italian paper mills like Delicarta to commit to not using pulp obtained through the destruction of primary ancient forests and in general from destructive practices.