What are some of the best biodegradable toilet paper? (9 factors) 

This article will unveil the best biodegradable toilet paper. Other factors covered would be: 

  • What is biodegradable toilet paper?
  • What is the background of toilet paper?
  • How eco-friendly toilet paper are?
  • How can consumers choose the best toilet paper?
  • What is biodegradability?
  • What are some best biodegradable toilet papers?
  • FAQs

What are some of the best biodegradable toilet paper?

There are some options available in the market such as Green forest premium bathroom tissues, Coleman Camper’s toilet paper and Scott 1000 toilet paper. 

The best toilet paper must ensure that new trees are planted and also that wildlife is not affected due to the production of toilet paper. Also factors such as the use of recycled material, and the absence of dyes and chemicals. 

The production process of the best biodegradable toilet paper must also be from renewable sources of energy while also ensuring zero carbon footprint and zero waste. 

What is biodegradable toilet paper?

In order to understand and build a stance on biodegradable toilet paper, it is important that an introduction must be given to what toilet paper is. 

Toilet paper is a type of tissue paper that is used in the restrooms for the cleaning of private parts after one has relieved himself. 

There may be certain variations or categories when it comes to toilet paper. These exist based on the varied demands of the consumers. The categories are: 

  • Scented toilet paper
  • Embossed toilet paper
  • Coloured toilet paper

As per the making of toilet paper, these are made from trees. There are two types of trees that may be used to make toilet paper. These may include hardwood trees and softwood trees. 

Softwood is made from longer fibres and is extracted from trees such as Southern pines. The paper obtained from this wood is responsible for giving strength and character to the tissue paper. 

Hardwood is made from shorter fibres. It is obtained from sources such as maple, oak et cetera. This type of paper is comparatively softer. 

The manufacturers of toilet paper make use of paper obtained from both types of wood (soft and hard) so that tissue paper may be soft but sturdy. 

There may be different combinations but most of the manufacturers including Charmin make use of 70% hardwood and 30% softwood. 

Other than these, some manufacturers may also make use of recycled paper instead of using virgin material. This decreased the environmental impact drastically. 

However, this action comes at the cost of using other materials as well that include ozone, sodium hydroxide, and oxygen. This is chiefly done to increase the whiteness of the recycled paper. 

What is the background of toilet paper?

The use of toilet paper for the said function somewhere commenced in the start of the 19th century. However, the idea and approach of toilet paper have existed from the very start. 

A number of ancient civilisations used different alternatives to toilet paper that included 

  • Use of corn cobs
  • Use of sponges
  • Use of cotton clothes
  • Use of powdered brick 
  • Use of sand
  • Use of stones

However, the proper use of toilet paper began somewhere in the early 1800s. The use became increasingly fervent as consumers found toilet paper to be of good use while also being economical. 

In this era, there is a fervent use of toilet paper. This can be seen in the figures that reveal how much toilet paper is used globally. It is claimed that there are more than 42 million tons of toilet paper used globally. 

These fervent figures imply how much toilet paper is used and how great of a necessity these have become. 

Modern-day toilet paper is made from material extracted from trees and therefore, there are burgeoning concerns regarding the environmental impacts rendered by the use of toilet paper. 

Those who are conscious of the environment argue what is the environmental impact of the mass amount of tissue paper that is used. Also, concerns related to the biodegradability, composting and recycling of tissue paper are also raised. All these will be addressed in the next sections. 

How eco-friendly toilet paper are?

This section will cover the environmental impacts that are rendered by common toilet paper. It is argued that although toilet paper is sourced from natural, plant-based sources, they still have certain impacts on the environment. 

The biggest factor that contributes to this is the fact that toilet paper is made from trees and this means that there will be cutting of trees. It is already suggested that human activities have resulted in a 50% decreased tree count. 

Trees are essential entities that save us from environmental anomalies and play their part in the sustainability and maintaining the greenness of the environment.

If there will be excessive tree cutting, there will be negative impacts on the environment including soil erosion, destruction of habitats, and disruption of ecosystems. Trees are the primary producers. They are the starting points of food webs and food chains. 

If trees are cut in grave amounts, there will be effects reciprocated at various levels of food chains. 

With decreased amounts of trees, there will be an increased release of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. This is because plants and trees take up carbon and convert it into oxygen. This saves our atmosphere from a couple of environmental anomalies. 

When there are fewer trees, there will be a more polluted atmosphere due to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is regarded as a greenhouse gas. This is because it leads to a phenomenon that is termed global warming. 

Global warming, as the name suggests, leads to increased global temperatures. This, in turn, gives rise to a plethora of other anomalies as well. These can be summarised into: 

  • Increased melting of glaciers
  • Soil erosion
  • Deforestation
  • Acid rain
  • Ozone depletion
  • Droughts
  • Floods 
  • Disruption of ecosystems 
  • Destruction of habitats
  • Unprecedented weather patterns 
  • Financial losses
  • Substantial losses
  • Species endangerment

How can consumers choose the best toilet paper? (9 factors) 

This section will cover the various factors or aspects that can be considered by consumers to ensure that they are buying the most eco-friendly toilet paper. 

Consumers must look for the green initiatives that are taken by the manufacturers of toilet paper. Some of these can be: 

  • Association with eco-friendly organisations
  • Forest stewardship council
  • Association of manufacturers with eco-friendly and green NGOs to curb the effect caused by tree cutting to make toilet paper
  • Use of renewable sources of energy in the toilet paper-making process
  • Use of recycled material in the making of toilet paper
  • Use of recycled and biodegradable material in the packaging 
  • Zero waste and zero carbon footprint endeavours of toilet paper manufacturing 
  • The toilet paper must be septic safe
  • It should be free of dyes and synthetic chemicals 

The producers and manufacturers of toilet paper must ensure that for trees that are cut, new trees must be planted so that the environmental effect is curbed and mitigated. 

What is biodegradability?

Biodegradability can be defined as a process of breakdown of waste into simpler materials so that waste may not accumulate. 

There are multiple drivers of biodegradability. The major driver of biodegradability is microbes. These may include viruses, fungi, algae, bacteria, and decomposers. 

Other facilitators of biodegradability include:

  • Aeration 
  • Sunlight 
  • Temperature
  • Pressure 

The process of biodegradation may occur in some steps. The steps involved in the biodegradation process include: 

  • Biodeterioration
  • Biofragmentation
  • Assimilation
  • Mineralisation 

The process of biodegradability is important because it results in the negation of waste accumulation and generation. If that does not happen, there will be negative effects on the environment and life. 

Biodegradable waste is the type of waste which can be degraded by the action of microbes and enzymes over a short period of time. Regarding this type, there is a general rule of thumb that biodegradable waste is mostly sourced from natural sources. 

Examples of biodegradable waste include plant waste, animal waste, sewage, manure, waste from slaughterhouses et cetera. 

Next, we have non-biodegradable waste. This type of waste is mostly sourced from non-natural sources such as the products of fossil fuels. This type of waste won’t degrade readily by the action of microbes. 

It is claimed that this type of waste may require even a thousand years to degrade. Therefore, it will lead to waste accumulation and negative impacts. Because of this, non-biodegradable waste is of more significant concern to environmentalists as compared to biodegradable waste. 

Examples of non-biodegradable waste include synthetic plastics, synthetic fibres, epoxies, hazardous waste, nuclear waste, electronic waste et cetera. 

Since toilet paper is made from trees (softwood and hardwood), toilet paper is regarded as biodegradable. These may degrade readily within a short span of time. 

What are some of the best biodegradable toilet paper?

We have discussed that almost all toilet paper is biodegradable. However, the real question is which toilet paper is the best (aligned with both commercial and environmental aspects). 

For this, there are certain factors that must be preferred and taken into account. Based on it, we have some best biodegradable toilet papers that are better off in terms of environmental impact and also utility. These include:

  • Green-forest Premium bathroom tissues
  • Coleman Camper’s toilet paper
  • Scott 1000 toilet paper 
  • Charmin toilet paper 

Conclusion

It is concluded that the best biodegradable toilet paper must be the most eco-friendly while also not compromising on quality. 

There are some options available in the market such as Green forest premium bathroom tissues, Coleman Camper’s toilet paper and Scott 1000 toilet paper. 

The best toilet paper must ensure that new trees are planted and also that wildlife is not affected due to the production of toilet paper. Also factors such as the use of recycled material, and the absence of dyes and chemicals. 

The production process of the best biodegradable toilet paper must also be from renewable sources of energy while also ensuring zero carbon footprint and zero waste. 

Frequently Asked Questions: What are the best biodegradable toilet paper?

How much time does toilet paper require to degrade?

Biodegradable toilet paper may degrade in 1-2 months based on external conditions. 

Can toilet paper be made from recycled material?

Yes, not only is it possible but it is also preferred that toilet paper must be made from recycled materials. Companies such as Green-forest Premium bathroom tissues can be cited as an example. 

References 

  • Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J. M., Van Wassenhove, L. N., Gabel, H. L., & Weaver, P. M. (1996). An environmental life cycle optimization model for the European pulp and paper industry. Omega, 24(6), 615-629.
  • Borin, N., Cerf, D. C., & Krishnan, R. (2011). Consumer effects of environmental impact in product labelling. Journal of Consumer Marketing.
  • Beckline, M., Yujun, S., Eric, Z., & Kato, M. S. (2016). Paper consumption and environmental impact in an emerging economy. J. Energy, Environ. Chem. Eng, 1(1), 13-18.
  • Pommier, S., Llamas, A. M., & Lefebvre, X. (2010). Analysis of the outcome of shredding pretreatment on the anaerobic biodegradability of paper and cardboard materials. Bioresource Technology, 101(2), 463-468.

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Comment