Concerned Customers & Activists Across the U.S. Demonstrate at Over 150 KFC Restaurants Calling on the Company to Green Its Packaging
Today, Colonel Sanders and various woodland creatures made appearances at over 150 KFC restaurants across the country and various locations in Europe to deliver a message, “Stop destroying Southern forests for your throwaway packaging.” The iconic KFC bucket and other KFC paper packaging comes from critical wetland forests and some of the last remaining special places on the southeastern coast.
The Colonel and crew were part of a national day of action, #OccupyKFC, organized by the Dogwood Alliance as part of the Kentucky Fried Forests campaign. Following on the heels of America Recycles Day, the organization is challenging KFC to use less paper, increase the use of post-consumer recycled paper in all of its packaging, recycle more and to adopt a sector-leading policy that ensures its packaging is made from paper from well managed forests and not contributing to the destruction of endangered forests or the replacement of natural forests with industrial tree plantations.
“Today, we stepped it up a level and hundreds of concerned citizens across the U.S. demonstrated at KFC restaurants demanding change,” said Scot Quaranda, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance. “KFC’s fast food packaging is destroying our forests but it doesn’t have to be that way. McDonald’s has shown leadership on these issues and it’s now time for KFC to be a responsible corporate citizen and do its part to end the rampant destruction of the special forests in the South to make its chicken buckets.”
For years, Dogwood Alliance has utilized their expertise in the sustainable sourcing of paper products to be a resource for major companies who are interested reduce the impacts of their paper and packaging on Southern forests, including Staples, McDonald’s, and Johnson & Johnson. Today, after more than four years of continued efforts by Dogwood Alliance to communicate with KFC and its parent company Yum!, they have demonstrated no meaningful concern for forests and affected communities, and refused to talk substantively about these important issues.
Instead, KFC has chosen to greenwash by slapping the controversial and ill-regarded Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification label on its packaging. The conservation community has called the SFI greenwashing, because it allows out-moded business as usual forestry practices including large-scale clearcutting, logging of endangered forests, conversion of natural forests to plantations, and widespread use of toxic chemicals.
Today’s action was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement which has been in the national spotlight for almost two months now. Included in the over 150 actions is a demonstration by the environmental solidarity group of Occupy Wall Street housed at Zuccotti Park in New York City until early yesterday morning. Because of the happenings in NYC, this particular action will happen this weekend or early next week. Additionally there were demonstrations from coast to coast and at various locations in Europe. The campaign will continue until KFC adopts a green packaging policy and takes real action to protect the forests of the Southern U.S.
KFC’s largest supplier in the South, (IP) has long been associated with destructive forestry practices. Notable has been the impact the company has had on the southeastern coast in places like North Carolina’s Green Swamp, where forested wetlands have been ditched and drained and converted to monoculture pine plantations, impacting endangered species such as the Venus Flytrap and causing flooding in nearby communities. As a major purchaser of paper products from , KFC has the ability to influence industry-wide change by committing to stop sourcing products from these damaging practices.
The Southern US is the largest paper producing region in the world providing 20% of the globe’s paper. Every year an area larger than the state of New Hampshire is clearcut. Yet the region is home to a large number of endangered plants and animals which hang in the balance. While other fast food companies, including McDonald’s, have introduced standards for sustainably sourced paper products from suppliers, KFC and its’ parent company, YUM! Brands, have been a slow mover in adopting practices.
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Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits. Dogwood Alliance has revolutionized the environmental practices of some of the world’s largest corporations. To support Dogwood Alliance’s call for KFC to adopt sustainable packaging practices send a letter to KFC leadership via www.kentuckyfriedforests.com, for more information on the organization visit www.dogwoodalliance.org.
To read the letter delivered today to store managers, visit here: Dear KFC Restaurant Manager
To watch a video Colonel Sanders released from the great yonder in support of #OccupyKFC visit here: https://youtu.be/GDFzdqsW_rg
To read more about McDonald’s recently announced environmental paper packaging policy, visit: http://www.dogwoodalliance.org/2011/03/mcdonalds-adopts-industry-leading-forest-standards-for-its-packaging/