Does it really matter whether we use bamboo toilet paper or loo roll made from trees? Traditional toilet paper is biodegradable so surely it doesn’t harm the environment or have an impact on climate change? Once it’s flushed down the loo, unless there’s an issue with the septic systems, the paper of itself doesn’t have an environmental impact.
The issue with the majority of toilet rolls is the way it’s made and the renewability of the raw materials it’s made from. Toilet paper production (as is the case with the process to make most manufactured products) releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That contributes to climate change.
Toilet roll made from trees
Traditional toilet paper is made from either recycled waste paper or virgin wood pulp. The latter doesn’t contain any recycled paper and therefore has a bigger carbon footprint. Production of it emits 30% more greenhouse gases than paper made from recycled products.
But it’s not just the production of the paper that makes loo roll produced from trees, harmful to the environment. Each day 27,000 trees are cut down as part of traditional tree paper production. This is contributing to huge areas of our planet being affected by deforestation.
Research shows that the average Briton uses 127 rolls of toilet paper every year. That’s the third highest in the world and about 8.5 billion rolls a year are being used in the UK. So it’s easy to see how much of a negative impact using regular toilet roll, wrapped in plastic packaging, is having on the environment.
So, what are the eco-friendly alternatives? Toilet paper made with a sustainable material that doesn’t use harsh chemicals during the manufacturing process is one eco-friendly option.
Bamboo toilet paper
Bamboo toilet roll has become an increasingly popular alternative to regular toilet paper in recent years. Bamboo is strong and is a renewable resource, growing 30 times faster than trees. It’s the fastest-growing plant in the world, making it a sustainable resource.
Bamboo trees grow densely which means less land is needed to grow them, compared to hardwood trees. The equivalent of 36 football fields worth of trees are lost to deforestation every minute, so using bamboo for toilet paper products helps to protect forests around the world.
Unlike the production of loo roll made from trees, the process for making bamboo toilet tissues doesn’t involve the use of bleach or chemicals making it kinder to sensitive skin. Basically, raw bamboo is turned into pulp which is then pressed into paper and shaped into rolls. So it’s a simple process which produces an eco-friendly product.
And not only does the production mean there’s less felling of trees which is good news for the planet’s wildlife who’s homes and eco-systems are in trees, but less water is used too. The process to create bamboo tissue products requires less water than conventional toilet paper.
Less water is needed to grow bamboo too. Bamboo forests need around 30% less water to grow than hardwood trees. Therefore, using bamboo preserves water which is particularly important for countries that experience water shortages.
So, it’s easy to see why bamboo paper is the best option and a much more sustainable alternative to traditional toilet paper. We’ve been using it for a while now and have used several different brands. Another bonus for us in using bamboo products is that they can be delivered direct to your door. This was a life-saver for us during lockdown. It was one less thing to worry about when supplies of normal toilet paper ran out in supermarkets.
A lot of companies provide a subscription service which means you bulk-buy and get your loo roll delivered as regularly as you need it. Here’s some of the best ones with UK delivery:
Bumboo with subscriptions starting at £39.90 for 48 rolls.
The Cheeky Panda is £34.40 for 48 rolls. They stock a wide range of bamboo products such as wipes and nappies too.
Who Gives a Crap £48 for 48 extra-long rolls
Naked Sprout £35.99 for a subscription of 48 rolls
Please note, if you click on the link and buy The Cheeky Panda’s products, we get paid a small fee from them.
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