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Thursday, June 26, 2003

:: FoE name + shame UK paper merchants ::

We all buy paper, but I suspect that few of us know where it has come from or at what cost...

Friends of the Earth have named and shamed 11 paper merchants who have been buying paper made from pulped Indonesian rainforest.

According to FoE the UK paper merchant hall of shame is led by York Ford (Leicester), Communisis BBF (Bath), WL Coller (Manchester) and David John (Slough, Berkshire). These four companies have been buying the largest quantities of paper from the UK agent for the Indonesian paper giant Asia Pulp Paper (APP). APP's paper is made from Sumatran rainforest which is home to the endangered Sumatran tiger and elephant.

Other UK paper merchants who have been buying paper from APP are: Pioneer Print (London), Northwood Paper Sales (Harrow), Laird Paper (Nottingham), Fleet Paper (Snodland, Kent), Beever Paper (Manchester), Trent Paper Sales (Loughborough, Leicestershire) and Solcrown Stationary (Woodford Green, Essex).

In May Friends of the Earth wrote to all the above companies requesting that they stop trading with APP. No responses have been received from these companies.

Approximately 70% of the pulp for APP's paper is sourced by clear cutting and pulping wildlife rich rainforest. APP has been accused by Human Rights Watch of links to human rights abuses against local communities on the island of Sumatra. There is also evidence that in 2002 the company bought illegal timber from third party suppliers. Although there has been some progress in addressing these issues, APP continues to source the majority of its pulp from wildlife rich rainforest. APP has also failed to commit to not cutting down or purchasing timber from High Conservation Value Forests.

Ed Matthew, Forests Campaigner for Friends of the Earth commented:

"APP is obliterating some of the most wildlife rich forest on Earth. Their UK customers are complicit in this devastation and are a disgrace to their profession. They must stop buying Indonesian paper immediately."

Friends of the Earth is calling on paper merchants and retailers around the world not to buy pulp or paper from APP until it can be independently proven that they are not buying illegal timber and are not cutting down or purchasing timber from High Conservation Value Forests.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the UK Government to support legislation to make it a criminal offence in Europe to import illegally sourced timber products. Friends of the Earth is also calling on the Government to support the Corporate Responsibility Bill, a private members Bill which would make UK corporations legally liable for the damaging environmental impacts overseas of any destructive purchasing decisions.