Marcal’s big leap with Small Steps – show 27

Did you know 98% of household paper goods are still made by cutting down trees? That means your paper towels, your paper napkins, your toilet paper.  All of these are made from 98% virgin fiber from freshly killed trees. It’s a shame in today’s world of environmental advances that these kinds of practices are still taking place. But they are. And it’s time we get informed, women. We make the majority of purchases in the household. We can turn that all around by just not buying into those products.

There are some intelligent choices in the marketplace today, and as green is becoming more and more prevalent, we’re seeing the prices reducing – and efficacy rising. My guest for today’s show is MJ Jolda, the Vice President of Marketing at Marcal Paper Products, a leading manufacturer of household paper goods from 100 percent recycled paper. They have introduced an Environmental Facts panel on their “Small Steps” packaging that details information like recycled paper content, how much chlorine bleach was used for whitening, and the use of chemical-based additives like fragrances and dyes.

This whole effort came out of talking with many many consumers, mostly women, on what they want and don’t want in green.

Listen in on her response to these questions:

  • Most of your customers are mainstream consumers – what I would call medium to light greens. They would purchase green but it has to really make sense. What did you learn in your research about what it would take for them to make a green purchase versus a conventional one?
  • We buy 80% of the products in our household, that’s tremendous economic power. So how can we rally those women to really have an impact in the      marketplace?
  • Isn’t education key here? How do we educate women, mainstream women, on what’s really happening when they buy that conventional product?
  • You have said that one of the biggest threats to the environmental consumerism movement is misinformation, or what’s often called greenwashing. How can we really make an impact in the marketplace if so many manufacturers are just spinning a marketing story without the environmental reality behind it?
  • I love Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles. What is Marcal doing or not doing well that you would like to change or improve?

About my guest: MJ Jolda is Senior Vice President for Marcal Paper LLC, the nation’s leading manufacturer of household paper goods from 100 percent recycled paper. An industry pioneer, Marcal has used recycled paper to make paper towels, napkins, facial tissue and bath tissue since 1950. MJ is responsible for the Marketing and R&D efforts for the Marcal Small Steps brand. MJ’s 20-plus-year track record of brand revitalization spans a wide range of consumer products, concentrating in food, household cleansers and OTC/HBA.

MJ’s links:

Profile of MJ Jolda in Advertising Age

Marcal’s Small Steps website

Marcal’s Small Steps Fans on Facebook

Marcal’s Small Steps on Twitter

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