Greenpeace Targets Campus Sales Of Kleenex

Photo: Travis Wong, a student Greenpeace organizer, protested against  Kimberly-Clark during a demonstration held yesterday afternoon.
Aditya Rohilla/Photo
Travis Wong, a student Greenpeace organizer, protested against Kimberly-Clark during a demonstration held yesterday afternoon.

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Greenpeace student activists, including some from UC Berkeley, assembled on Upper Sproul yesterday to protest the sale of Kleenex brand tissues in the Cal Student Store.

The international movement, called the Kleercut campaign, hopes to phase out products made by Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of Kleenex.

"There's no reason the Cal bookstore should continue to sell Kleenex brand when there are perfectly viable alternatives," said Robin Averbeck, Greenpeace student network coordinator.

According to Averbeck, Kimberly-Clark claims 11-15 percent of fiber from North America's ancient Boreal forest, totalling 300,000 metric tons annually.

Elio DiStaola, director of public and campus relations for Follett Higher Education Group, said the group has been in contact with Kimberly-Clark to understand their stance.

CalSERVE Senator Rebecca Coleman is also working with Kaitlin Sinneran, a student organizer with Greenpeace, to introduce a resolution to the senate next week to remove Kleenex tissues from the student store.

"I think sustainability is really important", Coleman said. "(It) is a part of a broader movement at UC Berkeley."

Five other universities, including Harvard University and Rice University, have already removed Kimberly-Clark products from their campuses, Averbeck said.

The protesters have petitioned on campus since last Monday, gathering more than 1,000 student signatures of support, she said.

Averbeck explained the significance of sustainability awareness on campuses.

"Universities are some of the most forward-thinking and progressive institutions in society," she said. "We are making strides here that we're not seeing on a higher level."

Contact Emily Grospe at [email protected]

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