GLTPA's Director's Notes


Trees, they are what real paper is made from.


An ad came to our attention recently and written in this ad were statements about the wonderful benefits of using bamboo fiber for production of toilet paper and paper toweling.  Statements like the following were taken from an ad called “Seedling” by Grove. “Strong, tree-free paper that replants the forest” and “Keep trees growing with every long-lasting, jumbo roll”.   Have you ever witnessed paper planting a tree? Have you ever known a tree to keep growing because of a “Jumbo Roll” of toilet paper?  For those of you old enough to remember comedian George Carlin, I think he could get a lot of material out of an ad like this!

The following statement from this ad is particularly interesting. “Seedling paper towels and toilet paper are made from soft and absorbent bamboo fibers instead of trees, and every purchase supports replanting forests across the U.S.”.  First, the ad seems to indicate that toilet paper is easier on your butt than a tree. This of course is true, but we all know some trees harvested by U.S. loggers are manufactured into a paper product which is soft as cotton and still protects a person’s hands from encountering foreign matter while performing this natural daily occurrence.  Second, why does this bamboo consuming company think U.S. residents should buy their product so they can turn around and pay for trees to plant on U.S. property?  Thirdly, why would a country screaming for equality (the U.S.) want to purchase product from a communist country known for pollution and little regard for its people and the environment. 

In the Lakes States trees are getting older and are growing approximately two times faster than they are being harvested.  The amount of natural mortality is almost equal to or larger than the amount of wood being harvested. In several areas of the U.S. trees are so overcrowded there is not enough water to keep them healthy which weakens and makes them more susceptible to diseases and hotter fires.  According to some of the latest fire data in 2020 alone over 4.9 million acres of U.S. Forest Service-protected land burned not counting private or state.  The area burned is nearly the size of Delaware and Connecticut.

With this much grown wood being wasted there is absolutely no reason to buy into the fallacy that bamboo products are needed to plant trees and keep trees growing longer.  Obviously by the numbers, the U.S. should be harvesting a great deal more to keep forest health in place as it is.  Especially when U.S. forest products companies follow the most stringent certification systems on the planet. 

It is fascinating how little some people think about their actions.  On the one hand they insist on a clean environment. On the other hand, they are perfectly willing to purchase the lowest cost foreign product produced without compliance to environmental standard of any type. Meanwhile air and water quality in the U.S. diminish because there is lack of support to purchase goods produced under the strict U.S. environmental standards.  The hypocrisy is mindboggling.  It is as unbelievable as the recent destruction at the U.S. Capitol.  That event received an unbelievable amount of press condemning the actions of the perpetrators and rightly so. Yet, because of poor judgement by law enforcement in one community, looting and burning of people’s property who had nothing remotely to do with that incident took place across the county and very little condemnation was heard.  Really! I would love for someone to explain the difference.  Violence is violence no matter what the cause in my book.

Getting back to bamboo, GLTPA and the forest industry in this region strongly recommends reading labels and thinking twice before purchasing a product produced in a foreign communist county and advertised under feel good statements with little value.  Think about your neighbor employed in sustainable forest management and the papermill worker producing your toilet paper.  They deserve your support provided with the purchase of products they produce in a country where the environment matters.  Just like the loggers, when U.S. companies add an SFI stamp to their product, it means something, and they have records to prove the guidelines really were followed and they can prove it.  I highly doubt that happens in other areas of the world. 

The billions and billions of dollars being spent on fire and pest control year after year and because of imported wood could be put to much better use keeping American forests and the Forest industry healthy and sustainable.

Until next month,





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The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA)

Provides proven leadership in the Lake States Forest products industry for over 70 years. GLTPA is a non-profit organization proud to represent members in Michigan and Wisconsin and is committed to leading Forest Products Industry in sustainable forest management.

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