WWF-Rating in Switzerland: Bad Grades for Retailers

Posted on 15 April 2009    
Swiss are the highest tissue paper users in Europe with 21 kg per person/yr
© Kurt Prinz

Switzerland - With a per capita usage of 21 kg of tissue paper Switzerland is leading European consumption on tissues. Offering an adequate amount of recycled fibre tissue products to consumers would therefore be really important as forests around the world are cut for toilet tissues, napkins or baby diapers. Retailers have not yet recognized this fact however as a WWF rating of Swiss Retailers shows: 9 out of 12 retail chains receive the grade "not sufficient"

21 kg of tissue and hygienic papers were used by an average Swiss in 2007, this is a quarter more than 10 years ago. With this level of consumption Swiss are the leading tissue users in Europe - only North Americans use more with 24kg per person.

The high paper usage pattern was a reason for WWF Switzerland to conduct a survey with the independent Rating Agency Inrate about the tissue products offered by 12 Swiss Retailers. The following product categories are part of the rating: toilet tissue, kitchen rolls, napkins and cosmetic tissue as well as baby diapers. "The paper industry plays a key role for the future of the worlds forests. Globally almost half of the commercial timber cut is used for paper production" explains WWFs forest expert Simone Stammbach.

The result of the WWF Rating of Swiss Retailers: Migros and Coop came out best, followed by Lidl who is new in Switzerlands market. Migros offers the biggest number of tissue products made of recycled and FSC certified fibres.Coop comes second. Lidl achieved third place - the discounter offers only toilet paper and kitchen rolls made out of recycled or FSC fibres. 9 other retailers received lower marks. (see graph)

All retailers offer at least one ecological alternative to virgin fibre and uncertified toilet tissue. Only half of the retailers have ecological kitchen rolls on offer. For the product range on napkins and cosmetic tissue barely any products made out of recycled or FSC fibres are available. Totally insufficient is the situation for baby diapers: No diapers are available on the Swiss market made from recycled fibres or FSC certified fibres.

WWF Tips:
1.       Preferentially buy tissue products made out of recycled fibre
2.       Be efficient and economical in your use of tissue and hygienic paper
2.       If it has to be virgin fibre for some reason then opt for products carrying the FSC label. FSC stands for environmentally and socially responsible forest management.

More information:
The press release is also available in French, German and Italian 

Simone Stammbach, Projektleiterin Konsum & Wirtschaft, WWF Schweiz, 044 297 21 65, Mobil: 079 407 35 67, simone.stammbach@wwf.ch

Swiss are the highest tissue paper users in Europe with 21 kg per person/yr
© Kurt Prinz Enlarge

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