Forests are the lungs of the Earth. They absorb an enormous amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide us with pure, clean oxygen in exchange. Yet, companies are cutting them down to produce something we’re going to flush down the toilet anyway!
Toilet paper is meant to be used for a matter of seconds. So, why use virgin wood pulp for this? There’s no need to destroy our forests when there are sustainable alternatives, like recycled toilet paper and bamboo toilet paper.
If you’d like to use the most eco-friendly toilet paper, keep reading to find our comparison of recycled toilet paper vs bamboo toilet paper and discover which is better for the environment!
Bamboo Toilet Paper vs Regular
Bamboo toilet paper is a much better option for the environment than your typical virgin paper toilet roll. When responsibly sourced, this eco-friendly toilet paper can help you prevent deforestation. And that’s because bamboo re-grows after it’s harvested, so it doesn’t need to be re-planted.
But is it better than recycled toilet paper? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this tree-free option:
- Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, it can grow up to 20 times faster than some trees. While the average tree takes a year to grow one foot, bamboo can manage that growth in one hour. This makes bamboo a wonderful alternative to reduce deforestation rates!
- Unlike trees, this plant doesn’t need to be replanted once harvested.
- Bamboo toilet rolls release 30% fewer greenhouse gases than those made from virgin wood!
- Bamboo toilet paper is 100% biodegradable and will break down faster than traditional and recycled toilet paper.
- Bamboo uses less water than other plants and it doesn’t require the use of fertilisers or pesticides to grow.
- Bamboo crops can thrive in different climatic conditions and grow in depleted soils. Moreover, these crops can restore degraded lands!
- Some brands use bleaching agents to improve the colour of the end product. However, chlorinated toilet rolls can affect your skin and the environment. So, make sure to look for bleach-free bamboo toilet paper.
- Let’s remember that most bamboo products come from Asia. So, they must be shipped thousands of miles across the ocean so that we can use bamboo toilet paper here in the UK. And as you might know, shipping contributes to climate change.
- Some hardwood forests are being destroyed to make room for bamboo plantations. Since bamboo toilet paper should be an alternative to prevent deforestation, it’s important to choose an option that comes from sustainable sources. You can opt for products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Recycled Toilet Paper vs Regular
As the name suggests, recycled toilet paper is made from paper products that have been discarded and then recycled. And don’t worry, this doesn’t include dirty toilet paper. In fact, this sustainable option comes from textbooks, office paper, newspapers, and magazines.
Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of this eco-friendly toilet paper:
- Since this eco-friendly toilet paper is made from recycled waste, companies don’t need to cut down living trees to create a disposable product. So, this is a much better option for the environment than using virgin fibre!
- Besides reducing deforestation rates, this eco-friendly toilet paper can also decrease the amount of paper going to landfills.
- Recycling paper requires less energy and water than making virgin paper. Likewise, making recycled bathroom tissue creates less air and water pollution than producing traditional toilet paper.
- Commonly, recycled toilet paper requires less bleach because it’s made from white paper. You can even find chlorine-free options!
- Traditional and bamboo toilet rolls are often softer than recycled toilet paper.
- Although recycling paper requires fewer harsh chemicals than manufacturing virgin pulp, companies still need to use some chemicals to remove any impurities from the raw materials.
- You should also be careful with greenwashing. Some products can be branded as “recycled” even though their percentage of recycled content is low. So, remember to buy options that contain at least 50% post-consumer recycled content.
- Thermal paper contains bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been linked to endocrine-disrupting properties. When thermal receipts are recycled, part of this chemical remains in the new products. Unfortunately, this toxic chemical has been found in recycled toilet paper. That said, when you use toilet paper, the amount of exposure to BPA is relatively low. But if you’re worried about this, you can also find BPA-free options.
Overall, both options are better for the environment than virgin paper. If you replace traditional toilet paper with recycled or bamboo toilet paper, you will significantly reduce your environmental impact. But if you’d like to use the most eco-friendly option, then choose recycled toilet paper.
Even though some companies use a small percentage of virgin paper to make recycled toilet paper stronger, this option has a lower environmental impact than bamboo toilet paper.
Bamboo is often grown in deforested lands and it’s usually imported from China, so bamboo toilet paper has a large carbon footprint. Besides, recycled toilet paper diverts paper products from landfills.
Don’t worry, bamboo toilet paper is safe to flush. This eco-friendly toilet paper is biodegradable and dissolves faster than traditional and even recycled toilet paper. When flushed, this zero waste toilet paper will start to dissolve immediately, so it won’t clog your toilet.
Yes, recycled toilet paper is completely safe to use. It’s made from clean paper products, like textbooks. And during the recycling process, the raw materials will be sanitised to remove any impurities. Although recycled toilet paper may contain traces of BPA, the amount of exposure to this chemical is negligible.
If you’d like to swap your regular toilet paper for an eco-friendly alternative, don’t forget to look for FSC-certified bamboo toilet paper or recycled toilet paper with at least 50% recycled post-consumer content. This way, you’ll help protect our precious forests!
If your looking to buy bamboo or recycled toilet paper we highly recommend Who Gives A Crap. Not only is the toilet paper eco friendly they also give back 50% of all profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.
Also if your looking for unbleached bamboo toilet paper try this small UK based company Naked Sprout. They donate to Just a Drop who transform lives by implementing sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene systems.