Rutgers must cut ties with destructive 3M

Letter to the Editor

The United States was once full of luscious forests rich in biodiversity with trees standing taller than skyscrapers. Sadly, most of the forests in the U.S. and around the world have fallen or been severely degraded. Those still standing are falling fast. Canada’s Boreal forest, the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem on the planet, is home to thousands of species including endangered species, such as the caribou. The Boreal forest is disappearing at the alarming rate of 4,000 football fields a day. Deforestation is exacerbating the rate of climate change, displacing communities and increasing species loss.

3M, maker of Post-it Notes and Scotch Tape, plays a role in destroying the world’s last endangered and old growth forests. 3M’s supply chain is connected to environmentally irresponsible and sometimes illegal logging that pollutes communities, decimates forests and harms wildlife. 

Post-it notes, over 90 percent of which are made without recycled content, are linked to the destruction of forests in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest and illegal logging in Russia, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. 3M’s masking tape and sandpaper are contributing to the destruction of the pristine Boreal forest, which is killing endangered caribou.  

To make matters worse, 3M is trying to mislead consumers into thinking their products are made sustainably. 3M’s Post-its carry a phony eco-label-Sustainable Forestry Initiative. SFI is an industry front group that is eco-friendly in name only. SFI allows the clear-cutting of our forests, which destroys wildlife habitat, causes soil erosion and causes landslides.

Students for Environmental Awareness urges Rutgers University’s Green Purchasing Program and the Rutgers Bookstore to discontinue its purchase of forest-destroying 3M products until 3M adopts a leadership environmental paper policy that will insure its supply chain is free of controversial fiber and stops misleading consumers. 

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