Seventh Generation tissue paper earns top marks on sustainability report card

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington-based Seventh Generation got top marks on a national sustainability scorecard for tissue paper. The report card highlights concern over the environmental impact of everyday items you might not think twice about using.

Helping the planet goes as deep as the products kept under your sink.

“We’re a company that focuses on creating the most sustainable home care products,” said Alison Whritenour of Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation received exemplary grades-- only A’s and A-pluses-- on their household products like toilet paper, tissues and paper towels.

“Focusing on using plant-based ingredients, post-consumer recycled ingredients and making sure we are making that as accessible as possible to consumers,” Whritenour said.

Environmental advocates say home products, like those created with paper, are an overlooked climate change contributor due to paper usage and manufacturing impact.

Some experts say a small adjustment can have a large impact.

“We have the opportunity to head in the direction of goods and consumption that is good for the planet ecologically,” said Amy Seidl, a professor at UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources.

Seidl says all product purchasing can be looked at through a sustainability lens. She believes it’s vital to the health of the planet.

“That we live sustainably on this planet meeting our needs without compromising the needs of future generations,” she said.

However, sustainable products can come with an increased cost. Compared to the generic store brand, Seventh Generation is about $1 more per 100 square feet of paper towels.

But if cost is your issue with tissue, Seidl says reusable towels make a good alternative for spills, or instead of paper plates, reach for dishes.

“These are great strategies for people that want to act sustainably, that like the idea,” she said.

Seidl says if you plan to purchase sustainable products, those that have earned certification can be helpful.

“Help consumers sort of steer and navigate through the range of goods that they might buy,” she said.

Whritenour says she hopes Vermonters continue to think sustainably because, for her, no action is too small.

“Just the need for urgent climate action overall,” she said.