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3M&#039;s scotch brite sponges harm forests

Scotch-Brite sponges are tied to forest destruction in Brazil. Learn more in our visual essay on 3M products and how they harm forests around the world.

Why 3M Products Like Post-It Notes Destroy Our Forests

What do Post-it Notes, Scotch Tape and Scotch-Brite sponges have in common? They all come from forest destruction. And, they’re all made by 3M.

3M is acting irresponsibly when it comes to our world’s forests. The air we breathe and the water that we drink suffers because of that. What’s more, 3M misleads the people who buy its products when it uses the Sustainable Forestry Industry (SFI) eco-label.

So, we’ve teamed up with nearly 3,000 individuals to ask 3M to change its ways. Join us and call on 3M to stop destroying forests at a time when we desperately need forests to fight climate change.

Here are three things that 3M should change ASAP

1. Post-it Notes don’t have enough recycled content.

Did you know that a million trees each year go into making Post-It Notes1? That’s a whole lot of tree fiber. And 90% of Post-It Note products have no recycled content. Zero. Zip. Nada.

You probably know by now that we need our world’s forests to slow down global warming. So we need 3M to do better.

If you use Post-it Notes, consider switching to sticky notes made of 100% recycled, 80% postconsumer content.

2. Scotch tape plays a role in destroying precious caribou habitat.

3M’s tape is sometimes made of tree fiber that’s way too valuable to be used in masking tape: fiber from Canada’s Boreal forest. The Boreal is home to the magnificent, yet shy, woodland caribou.  It’s one of North America’s most seriously threatened mammals.

So get this: that 3M masking tape in your kitchen drawer? It could be traced to a paper mill in Wisconsin, which gets tree pulp from a Domtar mill in Dryden, Ontario, which gets logs from caribou habitat.

We need to protect caribou habitat from logging, if the species is to survive. So we need 3M to do the right thing.

3. When 3M uses the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) eco-label, it gives consumers the wrong impression.

3M puts the SFI’s “green” label on some of its products and marketing materials. That means that 3M takes environmental credit where no credit is due. Why? Because SFI certifies clearcuts the size of 90 football fields, GMO trees, and toxic pesticide sprays, among other unacceptable practices, as “good for forests.”

What’s more, SFI is funded and governed by the biggest names in the logging industry.

You can think of it this way: when 3M parades around with the SFI logo, it’s pretty much like putting a “Most Likely to Be Accountable” award on your resume, and conveniently leaving out the fact that your spouse was on the decision making committee.

3M taking environmental credit by way of SFI is deceptive. It’s phony. It’s baloney. And we’re calling on the 3M to drop the act.

If you care about the trees that stabilize our climate, or the woodland caribou herds that need places to roam, then you probably care about 3M’s supply chain. Yes, even if you never thought that you would.

Please join us and call on 3Ms CEO to do right by our worlds forests.



1. Based on the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) Paper Calculator. See EPN, “Understanding Recycled Fiber”, June 2007 (one ton of uncoated freesheet paper requires three tons of wood, or 24 trees).

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3M is associated with clearcuts

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