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Lydia Sawtell |  September 13, 2011

PROTESTERS donned rubber gloves this morning in Melbourne to demand Officeworks cleans up its act and dump Reflex paper.

Officeworks recently banned the sale of paper from Asian rainforests vital for the survival of the Sumatran tiger, and now The Wilderness Society want the store to do the same for Australia’s own wildlife.

Currently Reflex source paper from Victoria’s Central Highlands which is home to the leadbeater’s possum and other species close to extinction.

The Wilderness Society spokeswoman Trier Murphy said: “We are asking for a date they will tell Australian Paper that they will remove reflex from their stores”.

“It means Australian Paper will have to move into plantations to source their wood pulp or at least they will have a really strong incentive to do so, and that would protect Victoria’s forest.

“It’s the most carbonous forest on earth and we are chopping it all down and turning it into paper and it’s ridiculous,” said Ms Murphy.

So far about 11,000 people have signed the Ethical Paper petition and about 25 people attended today’s Elizabeth St protest .

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries criticised anti-forestry campaigners for targeting Australian retailers and manufacturers.

VAFI cheif exeuctive Lisa Marty said Reflex is made from a renewable material produced by one of the most highly regulated and well-managed forestry industries in the world.

“Any alternative would mean more imports from other countries with potentially weaker environmental standards and would have negative environmental and social-economic consequences,” Ms Marty said.

“Rather than targeting Australian retailers and seeking to harm Australian jobs, VAFI encourages these groups to raise specific concerns directly with the Victorian Government and the industry in a sensible way.”