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by Treehuggers 06/06/2011

The Problem

Producing Reflex Paper from native forest wood impacts our climate, water and wildlife.

Australian Paper, makers of Reflex, is the largest domestic purchaser of pulplogs from Victoria’s native forests.

These native forests are the most carbon dense known to science on Earth. Logging and post-logging burning releases enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Protecting Victoria’s forests – both existing old growth forests and allowing previously degraded forests to restore their lost carbon – is crucial to tackling climate change.

The native forests that Australian Paper gets its wood from are home to a myriad of threatened species. Victoria’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s Possum, is at risk from ongoing logging. Logging fragments and destroys habitat. The tragic 2009 fires burned almost 50% of the Leadbeater’s Possum habitat and despite calls for change by leading scientific experts, Australian Paper continues to source from these forests. Viable populations of other threatened species have plummeted in recent years. The Baw Baw frog, the Sooty Owl, the Barred Galaxias (a little known native fish) are all impacted by logging operations.Incredibly, logging occurs within Victoria’s precious water catchments. These catchments are natural water factories for both city and rural communities. Logging reduces both the quality and quantity of water. We are all doing our bit to save water. Reflex’s ongoing sourcing of wood from Victoria’s water catchments has significant impacts on the supply of future drinking waters.

It is not good enough. Reflex’s ongoing sourcing of native forest wood has a major impact on our climate, water and wildlife.

The Solution

Let’s make Reflex paper sustainable!

Unfortunately, Reflex paper is currently produced using native forest wood made cheaply available through subsidises – your taxpayer dollars being used to destroy native forests!

However, Reflex could be produced using existing plantation resources and recycled fibre in Victoria. There is enough plantation wood to completely substitute Australian Paper’s native forest wood allocation.

The solution is to produce Reflex paper using plantation wood from the Green Triangle in Western Victoria. There is even a train line that links the plantation resource with the mill that makes Reflex.

The Maryville mill is an important employer for the Central Gippsland region. By using plantation wood and increasing the output of recycled products, the mill won’t be threatened by a transition to plantation wood.

The mill can source stock without destroying our native forests. This would end the controversial logging in Victoria’s Central Highlands and Strzelecki Ranges.

An Aussie made Reflex paper that doesn’t destroy native forests is a product that we would proudly endorse.