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No Australian copy paper will carry FSC logo

Tuesday, 30 August 2011
By Print 21 Online Article

Reflex paper, Australia’ largest selling copy brand, will not carry a FSC logo even after Australian Paper’s got back its chain of custody certification.

According to Shaun Scallan, general manger for corporate social responsibility for Australian Paper, the FSC logo hasn’t been on Reflex paper for nine months due to a packaging review last year. Yet it is still certified with PEFC, the world’s largest Forest Certification System.

“A contributing factor was the fact that the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines dictate its logo cannot appear alongside competing chain of custody programs, like AFS/PEFC.

He says after the Rainforest Alliance audit of VicForest operations, FSC International disagreed with the interpretation of the standard. “This left insufficient time for us to address and so we elected to withdraw controlled wood from our certification.

“Even today they are not clear on their interpretation. We have held the FSC standard at VicForests for the last five years, but it’s clear that the requirements are changing with time,” says Scallan.

The Wilderness Society has gained over 10,000 signatures of Australians committing to stop purchasing Reflex paper in its Ethical Paper campaign.

Luke Chamberlain, Victorian forest campaigner for the Wilderness Society, says it is time for the makers of Reflex paper to move into the 21st century and make a real green product using plantation timber and recycled fibres only.

The majority of wood supplied to Australia’s sole fine arts paper producer is AFS/PEFC certified. VicForests is still forestry certified.

This means that, according to the European Union supported World Wildlife Fund, no Australian produced copy paper meets the FSC guidelines. Most FSC copy products listed on its website are produced by European mills with some from China.

Rainforest Alliance’s decision to recertify Australian Paper to FSC STD 40-004 supersedes the original certificate extension and the new certificate excludes the controlled wood verification programme.

Richard Donovan, forestry VP for Rainforest Alliance, says interpreting and implementing the FSC Controlled Wood standards is one of the more challenging areas of work within the FSC system, both in Australia and worldwide.

“The Rainforest Alliance has been proactive in working to improve and implement these standards, participating actively in the controlled wood debates at the recent FSC General Assembly, and taking on the challenges of implementing the standards in the field.

“We believe that major forest operations that provide controlled wood supply should become certified to the FSC Controlled Wood – Forest Management (CW/FM) Standard 30-010.”

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