Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another day in the forests of Indonesia

“On Thursday, 18th December 2008, mobile police brigades in Riau, together with ordinary police officers and 500 paramilitaries stormed the settlement of Suluk Bongkal in order to evict the population. The background is the claim which the plantation company PT Arara Abadi is making on the land, and the company’s support by sectors of the government.” “The settlement of Suluk Bongkal, Beringin, in the district of Bengkali, Riau Province, Sumatra has been attacked by security forces. Two toddlers have been killed. 400 villagers have fled into the mountains and 58 people remain in the village. They are under extreme psychological pressure.” “State security forces, which are supposed to serve the population, have committed a crime against human rights with their attack on the population of Suluk Bongkal. There are strong indications that the violence was planned: Police and paramilitaries even used a special incendiary bomb in order to burn the village, they used fire arms and tear gas and a helicopter which appears to belong to PT Arara Abadi.” Since 1984 twenty six conflicts have been registered between local Indonesian populations and the ‘forestry’ corporation Arara Abadi. “The main cause is land rights conflicts. People are losing the right to their land, without receiving fair and timely compensation.” [1] Arara Abadi holds forestry and land concessions for around 3000 km2 in the Riau and Jambi provinces in Sumatra – an area covered by peatland forests that represent an enormous store of global carbon. This company feeds the paper mills of Asian Pulp and Paper (APP). Both companies are controlled by the Sinar Mas Group, one of Indonesia's largest conglomerates with a network of paper mills and land holdings that extends into China, India, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea. Sinar Mas Group is owned by Eka Tjipta Wijaya [2] the prominent Chinese entrepreneur. “according to data published in November 2007, its customers include Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Henkel, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King, Danone, AAK and Cargill [3] . Other customers are the Swedish corporations of Cellmark, Ekman and Elof Hansson [4]. No doubt these companies are amongst many other corporations and their conglomerates around the world.

My bet is that, as long as we continue to consume the products of these corporations, the violence will continue.

[1]‘End the violence on pulp and paper plantations’ by Ade Fadli. 22nd December 2008.

[2] Forestry Giant Lobbying for Huge Plantation
By Luke Reynolds. The Cambodia Daily, Story of the Month, September 15 2004

[3] Golden Agri-Resources, 2007. Company Presentation. November 2007 as quoted in Greenpeace Briefing ‘SINAR MAS: Indonesian Palm oil menace’. Published by Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Indonesia.



Anonymous said...

Yet another disgrace of many in the world right now.

Does anyone know of a "fair trade coffee" equivalent to toilet paper or other paper products? Is there some sort of certification that identifies paper that has not come from trees? I know that the forestry and plantation industry certification is a sham to hide all sorts of abuses. Has anyone any idea of how we act to save these villagers' choice of lifestyle?

Myrtle Blackwood said...

I think that the most effective way to avoid consuming global native forests would be to put priority in attempts to avoid the consumption of paper to begin with. Most of the time this is rather easy to do:

Electronic book readers are now available and very effective, with text that can be read even in broad daylight.

Paper napkins can be replaced with cotton equivalents and reused.

Newspapers are major users of woodchip from native forest. In fact the technology was developed by two major newspaper companies - Fairfax and Murdoch media corporations. The internet provides a much better source of news than such varieties of mainstream media in any case.

If printing paper is unavoidable then tree-free paper is the way to go. (see below)

Tree-free paper

“Recycled papers are available for nearly every printing need, yet the market has been slow to respond, and the industry is still struggling to compete with its virgin wood-based rivals. According to paper industry watcher Susan Kinsella, deinking mills still need major technological advances to deal with contamination problems of lower grade materials such as copier and laser toner polymers, “sticky” notes, mailing labels, envelope seals and other adhesives. In addition, Kinsella estimates that at least 15 million more tons of high-grade postconsumer printing and writing papers could be channeled to the recycling loop-three times the amount currently being reused. To add insult to injury, many manufacturers of recycled paper pulp still can't compete economically with the low prices that suppliers are offering on virgin wood pulp-further fueling the clearcutting of the world's vanishing forests. For example, some of the widely televised fires that destroyed up to two million acres of forest in Indonesia in 1997 were caused by large pulp and paper corporations clearing land for pulpwood plantations.”

Information on WOOD-FREE PAPER



Wheatstraw paper

Sonochemically modified wheat straw for pulp and papermaking to increase its economical performance and reduce environmental issues.
Levente Csoka, Attila Lorincz, and Andras Winkler.
Peer-reviewed article.

Wheat straw (an agricultural product) was pulped by an alkaline anthraquinone (AQ) process. Then the straw pulp was treated by high power ultrasound under different noble-gas (argon, krypton, xenon) combinations. The pulp's degree of beating and acid-insoluble lignin content were measured. Handsheets were made from sonicated and control pulps and tested for paper tensile strength. In this study we explore which noble-gas combination with ultrasound may be more useable to reduce the lignin content and enhance fibrillation. We also describe the most effective ultrasound-assisted, modified alkaline pulping process. Overall, we ound that in two steps ultrasonification decreased the residual lignin contents more than 75%, the pulp fibrillation incrased from 12 to 70 degrees SR within 20 min. of ultrasound irradiation, and the tensile index of the handsheets incrased by 65%. For sustainable paper production, it is required to develop alternative paper resources. Paper made from alternate fibre resources with efficient technology will improve our living standards without sacrificing the environment, our habitat. High frequency ultrasound-based pulp processing offers significant improvements, and it reduces energy and chemical consumptions for pulp and paper production.

Contact information: a: Institute of Wood and paper Technology; University of West Hungary, 9400 Spron, Bajcsy Zs.E. u.4, Hungary. b: Private entrepreneur, Mosonmagvarovar, Magyar, u. 17. Hungary * Corresponding author:

paper industry’s total fibre consumption comes from wheat straw [Paper Technology. 2006]. In the first half of the twentieth century, straw was still a ...

“..Recent estimates show over 7,000,000 acres of wheat or barley planted in Montana. Other estimates suggest each acre produces an average of 3000 lb. of straw. Combined, these figures show that over 10 million tons of straw are produced annually in Montana. At 25% removal, 2.5 million tons of straw may be gathered as a raw material for use in various products, including straw paper. This is sufficient to fully supply 50 small mills using 50,000 tons per year (tpy). Presuming a 50% yield from pulping, it could also supply more than 1.5 paper mills the size of
the Smurfit-Stone mill in Frenchtown…”

Making Paper From Montana’s Straw - A Guide to Making Straw Pulp a Reality. By Billy Stern, Pulp and Paper Strategist. Made possible by the Native Forest Network and The Growth Through Agriculture Program, Montana Agriculture Development Council, Montana Department of Agriculture

Making Paper From Montana’s Straw
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Dong, Y. T. "Effect of Alkali Concentration on the Quality of Cooking Wheat Straw." Paper. Making 4 (1993): 18-19. Dou, Z. Y. "H ...



Tree free paper – directories of suppliers

1. Directory from StopWaste.Org. September 2006
Tree-Free Paper
Sources Alternative Materials Used
Costa Rica Natural
(805) 652-1787
Stationary Paper & other items:
Fiber from agro-industrial waste, such as
banana, coffee and tobacco with recycled
Green Earth Office Supply
(800) 327-8449
Stationary & other items: from Costa Rica
Natural and other suppliers
Bagasse (sugar cane) food service items
Greenline Paper
(800) 641-1117
Stationary Papers:
Hemp/Flax with recycled content
Greg Barber Company
(800) 840-4555 x3
Denim, hemp, kenaf, old money
Kelly Paper Store
Hayward: (510) 783-2200
Oakland: (510) 444-6727
Stationary & Printing Papers:
Bagasse (sugar cane) and Bamboo with
recycled content
Living Tree Paper Company
(800) 309-2974
Stationary & Printing Papers:
Hemp/Flax with recycled content

*** Vanguard Recycled Plus, for printing paper
§ Uncoated
§ 10% hemp/flax & 90% post-consumer waste.
§ 100% processed chlorine-free.
§ Ideal for brochures, newsletters, annual reports, hang tags, and other high-profile corporate identity and promotional pieces.
§ Excellent printing quality for black & white and full-color projects.
§ Available in most sheet and roll sizes and basis weights.

Vision Paper
(505) 294-0293
Stationary & Printing Papers: 100% Treefree
(Kenaf) and Tree-free (Kenaf) with
recycled content

2. Conserve a tree

Nationwide Paper Sources
The following retail sources are available throughout all or much of the United States. This is only a preliminary list. If you know of other sources, please let us know. We are building this list as an ongoing project with your help.
Select the type of merchant, or browse the list below.
Cooperative Direct Office Supply Store Online Paper Distributor

Name Stores Merchant Type Types of products Website Information
Cooperative Sales
Recycled Products Cooperative Website orders Cooperative Copy paper, school and recycled content office products
Direct Merchants
New Leaf Paper Website orders for copy paper Direct Assorted papers http://www.newleafpaper.comSelect "Copy Paper" from left hand menu for Encore 100 Copy Paper. Call for information on other papers.
Office Supply Stores
Kinko's Stores Nationwide Office Supply Store Calendars, reams of copy/cover paper (white/colors), stickies, folders, pencils http://officeproducts.fedexkinkos.comIn "Product Search" box enter "Recycled Paper"
Office Depot Stores Nationwide Office Supply Store Cases/reams of copy paper (white/colors), stickies, business stationary, letterhead, folders, office paper products, paper towels, shopping bags, more http://www.officedepot.comIn "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper" (give more specification if possible)
Office Max Stores Nationwide Office Supply Store Cases/reams of copy paper (white), reams of copy paper (colors), office products (stickies, folders, notepads, etc.) http://www.officemax.comIn "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper"
Staples Stores Nationwide Office Supply Store Cartons/reams of white copy paper, business stationary, folders, office paper products, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, more "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper", then enter zipcode and select category
Online Merchants
Eco-Products Online only Online Copy paper, folders, cups, plates, tissue products http://www.ecoproducts.comSelect "Office" under Business Supply heading or "Paper Goods" under Household Products heading
Good Common Sense Online ordering Online Copy paper, notebooks, journals, envelopes, index cards, and others (including non-paper products) http://www.goodcommonsense.netSelect "Smart Paper" from list on left of website. About halfway down list.
Green Earth Office Supply Online ordering Online Cases/reams copy paper, stationary, notecards, labels, folders, calendars, and many others (including non-paper recycled products) from list on left of website.
Green Field Paper Company Sold through distributors listed on website Online Tree-free specialty papers, stationary, and cards menu on left of website to select products. Select "Our Retailers" from menu on left of website for sources.
Green Line Paper Online ordering Online Copy/office papers, envelopes, school and office supplies, tissue, more from product list
Merced Office Products Online ordering Online Assorted office products "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper", then select from category list (give more specification if possible)
The Paper Mill Store Online ordering Online Copy and office paper http://www.thepapermillstore.comIn "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper" or select "Buy By Brand Name" from menu on left of website and cross-reference with Conservatree lists of environmental papers.
Quill Corporation Online ordering Online Assorted office products http://www.quillcorp.comIn "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper"
World Centric Online Eco & Fair Trade Store Online ordering Online Napkins, Copy Paper, Bathroom Tissue, and non-paper products menu select "PCW Recycled Paper Products"
Paper Distributors
J.C. Paper 4 stores located in CA (3) and NV (1) Paper Distributor Assorted papers paper catalog or call to inquire
Kelly Paper Stores in CA, AZ, NV Paper Distributor Many paper products http://www.kellypaper.comClick store locator to find store. Click Online-Ordering to order/browse online. Cross-reference with Conservatree brand lists
Paper Zone Stores in California Paper Distributor Text and cover papers http://www.paperzone.comIn "Search" box enter "Recycled Paper"
Xpedx Stores in most states Paper Distributor Many paper products coming soon. Click Locations to find a store
Conservatree is a project of the Tides Center. Copyright 1988-2007 Conservatree. Terms of Use

Individual suppliers of tree free paper
Environmental benefits of Reprograf 100% tree free paper:

* Absolutely no forests are destroyed in the making of this paper. The birds and wildlife are left alone. Use to your heart's content!
* By using this 100% sugar cane husk tree free paper, you convert what would otherwise become another greenhouse gas air pollutant (crops are regularly burned in the fields) to a forest-preserving, useful copy paper product.
* Fully recyclable. A tree free addition to your current paper recycling stream.
* Pulping is achieved by way of a modern, closed loop ECF (elementary chlorine free), hydrogen peroxide and oxygenation process. Furthermore, sugar cane and other treefree fibers require significantly less energy and resources to make into paper than tree fiber.
* You are supporting a paradigm shift away from the destruction of our natural forest ecosystems for paper.
* You are part of a wave of consumer activism, creating the demand to encourage larger paper producers to get into the game, producing their own tree free papers and putting downward pressure on prices.
You can tell everyone that your paper is 100% treefree!
Postal mail:
2326 Gull Lane
Sarasota, FL 34237

[No response from email in May 2007]

Green Field Paper Company
Contact on 22nd May 2007

----- Original Message -----
From: Shari Smith
To: Brenda Rosser
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 9:52 PM
Subject: Re: Tree Free Paper in Australia
Try to locate EcoDepot or They may only be online but we have sold our products to them and they are located near Sydney.

----- Original Message -----
From: rhiana
To: 'Brenda Rosser'
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 2:10 AM
Subject: RE: Tree Free Paper in Australia
Hi Brenda,
We do not have any retail outlets in AU. Please feel free to place your order with me via email. I will total shipping and product costs for you.
Rhiana Keiser
Sales + Warehouse Manager
ph: 858.565.2585 x10
fax: 858.5652581
Green Field - where every day is Earth Day!
7196 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, California 92111

Toll-Free Phone: (888) 402-9979
Toll-Free Fax: (888) 433-6133

Telephone: (858) 565-2585
Fax: (858) 565-2581

Key Contacts:
Rick Smith, President, extension 11
Rhiana Keiser, Office Manager, extension 10
Shari Smith, Marketing Director, extension 14
Warehouse, Shipping and Receiving, extension 15
Greenline Paper Company