Australian environmental group claims PEFC-certified eucalyptus plywood from Tasmania linked to rainforest destruction; product being used to floor £20M Olympic venue in London

LOS ANGELES , November 8, 2011 () – Claims by Australian environmental group Markets for Change that eucalyptus plywood from Tasmania has links with rainforest destruction have been reported in U.K. national newspaper The Independent.

The plywood, imported by Gloucester-based International Plywood, is being used to floor a £20 million SportsDock training venue at the University of East London’s Docklands campus, which will be used by the U.S. team during the Olympic Games. The PEFC-certified plywood meets the Games’ procurement policy, U.K. timber industry magazine TTJ reported.

Markets for Change alleges the plywood has links with rainforest destruction, saying the wood used to make the product was harvested by Malaysian-owned Ta Ann from old-growth forests.

International Plywood told The Independent it had no current trading contracts with Ta Ann, and would review its relationship with the company if claims that it was not complying with International Plywood’s purchasing policy could be verified.

PEFC is one of the timber certification schemes approved for use in the London Olympics build program, but environmental groups including Greenpeace and Markets for Change favor the FSC scheme.

The primary source of this article is TTJ, The Timber Industry Magazine, Sidcup, U.K., on Nov. 8, 2011.

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