Discounting the environmental concerns that demand this--and there may be some valid ones--it might actually be good if Americans did not use such soft toilet paper
ALTHOUGH IT only accounts for 5% of the US forest-products industry, environmentalists have been raising a stink about the US toilet paper (TP) industry for quite a while.
According to an article in a late-September edition of The Washington Post, environmental groups have been, for several years, protesting the cutting and grinding of sometimes centuries-old trees for something they consider frivolous at best.
Extra-soft and plush TPs are "like the Hummer product for the paper industry," Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council told The Washington Post. "We don't need old-growth forests... to wipe our behinds."
Generally, however, TPs for the "away from home," or "no-choice" market, like in restaurants, offices and schools, use about 75% recycled fiber.
Softer, "plusher" TP brands must be made from virgin wood--new wood has the longer fiber strands needed to make a "more comfortable" TP, while recycled paper does not.
But on the whole, consumers won't budge.
And I, for one, can't blame them.
You can have my plush TP when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!
While I have always enjoyed unguided mobs wrecking a place as a televised spectator sport, it has always bugged me how protests in the US seemed so unfocused.
A gazillion agendas, a lot of noise, but for what? A lot of overtime for the police, and a bigger heap of bad press for whatever the initial cause had been.
Whatever your cause, how is it helped by a man wearing a rainbow Afro wig holding up a "John 3:16" sign?
Not that that sentiment isn't appreciated, though.
It was the early 1980s, and in response to a then-recent Central Park protest for some now-forgotten cause, my junior year of high school English teacher told our class how to have an effective protest:
Get everyone attending to dress neatly all in black, like they were at a funeral; have a few signs and a banner so people know why you're there; and then stand outside the dean's office or wherever in stone silence.
If a notorious busybody and nanny-state proponent like New York's hypocritical Mayor Mike Bloomberg decided that it would be for everyone's best interests to ban "too soft" TP, it would get a protest like that, I'm sure.