Life without toilet papers is hard to imagine. Once you have entered the bathroom, toilet paper is one of the things that you look for to clean yourself afterward. Aside from using it in the bathroom, toilet papers can be also used in wiping up spills, removing dirt, and cleaning surfaces.
Did you know that the average American uses roughly 100 single rolls or 21,000 sheets of toilet paper every year?
Today, toilet paper comes in various colors and patterns. Industries use attractive and high-quality packaging to attract consumers. Buyers tend to purchase toilet papers that are strong, absorbent, soft, and shiny. These factors are crucial but most of them do not have an idea of the sustainability of toilet paper.
Toilet papers went through lots of processes before they land in your home or bathroom and most of them are not good for the environment.
You might have recycled all your paper waste like documents and newspapers but have you thought of your toilet papers as well?
Let us discuss why it is crucial to use eco- friendly toilet paper.
Most toilet paper manufacturers use a high volume of chemicals on their products. Wood chips are mixed with several chemicals in a huge cooker to evaporate the moisture attached in the fibers. After 3 hours, the wood chips must be flexible and these chips are called the wood pulp. The pulp undergoes a multi-stage washer system to remove chemicals and residues.
After going through these steps, the pulp is still color brown. A high volume of bleach is applied to achieve a white-colored toilet paper then it will be rewashed to put away the remaining bleach. Chlorine is used to make toilet paper white and soft and fragrances are used to give it a pleasant smell.
These chemicals are harmful to your body and can trigger rashes or allergies. Adding these toxic chemicals is not necessary for people can use toilet papers even without fragrances.
At present, most of the wood pulp used in making toilet paper comes from virgin forests. Toilet paper is usually composed of 70% hardwood trees like maple and oak and 30% softwood trees like Douglas firs and Loblolly pines. With this, many trees are cut down for raw materials. Trees are also debarked to uncover inner wood for creating resins and latex. If you use 2 toilet paper rolls in a week, then 27,000 trees are needed to be taken down every day.
Imagine the number of trees being cut down in making toilet paper. Forests provide shelter for indigenous communities and countless plants and animals. Maintaining forests is necessary for fighting climate change as well.
Carbon dioxide is emitted in the atmosphere during production. This gas is also present in manufacturing recycled toilet paper. Toilet papers are usually packaged in plastic, a material that also brings danger to the environment.
Water and Electricity
One roll of standard toilet paper uses 140 liters of water during production. Its production contributes to global warming since 15 % of the world’s deforestation happens due to the creation of toilet paper.
Meanwhile, 17.3 terawatts of electricity yearly are needed in manufacturing toilet paper.
Toilet paper can be harmful to the environment but that should not be the case. Now that you know why eco-friendly toilet paper matters, it is time to take action. You can help in preserving the environment and purchasing eco-friendly toilet paper is one of them. Toilet paper which comes from bamboo is an excellent choice if you want to use eco-friendly toilet papers. Unlike trees, bamboo is readily available and easily renewable. Also, bamboo can grow up to 25 feet in less than 23 days!