Learn how toilet paper production affects our forests
We know toilet paper is a necessity. Can you imagine life without it? We stock it on shelves, keep it in cabinets, and have it in our homes at the ready. There may not be another household essential used quite as much.
Most of us probably never stop to think about where it comes from or how it affects our planet. However, it's time to start.
Because of traditional toilet paper's widespread popularity and the fact that it's a single-use product, the toilet paper industry raises some serious environmental concerns.
The health of our forests tops the list when it comes to problems with toilet paper production. When our vulnerable woodlands are compromised, we risk losses to biodiversity and increase the negative effects of climate change.
Let's take a look at the toilet paper industry and then explore just how many trees are cut down for toilet paper. Then, we'll clue you in to healthier and more eco-friendly toilet paper products.
The Toilet Paper Industry
According to The Natural Resources Defense Council, tissue products, like toilet paper and paper towels, are the fastest-growing sector of the paper industry. Their publication, The Issue With Tissue, states, "The U.S. tissue market generates $31 billion in revenue annually, second only to China, and Americans, who make up just over 4 percent of the world's population, account for over 20 percent of global tissue consumption." (1)
The overall environmental toll of this growing market is alarming. Aside from chemicals, dyes, and bleaching agents that have the potential to increase pollution in our soil, water, and air, an invaluable part of our planet is at risk.
Tree Consumption for Toilet Paper
Perhaps the most devastating effect resulting from the production of toilet paper is the toll it takes on our forests. Approximately 27,000 trees are harvested daily for use in toilet paper manufacturing. This equates to approximately 15 million trees per year. (2) The effects of tree loss, or deforestation, are significant.
Deforestation can lead to soil erosion and disrupt the water cycle, which can lead to flooding and droughts. Trees are a critical component of our ecosystem as they absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere, which helps to regulate the climate.
Fragile ecosystems and lively animal habitats are disrupted by the loss of forested lands, putting Earth's biodiversity at risk.
Trees serve as a primary source of raw material for the production of toilet paper. The process starts with hardwood trees that are cut down and shredded into chips. Then, pressure-cooking of the chips produces a pulp. The pulp gets strained, dried, and pressed to create sheets that resemble the final paper product.
As the World Wildlife Fund points out, "Every ton of toilet paper produced requires about 1.75 tons of raw fiber. The amount of wood harvested annually may need to triple by 2050 to meet projected global demands for all industries—including pulp and paper." (3)
Many traditional toilet paper manufacturers still use 100% virgin forest fiber. And, what's even more concerning, most of this pulp comes from Canada's boreal forests, an area responsible for capturing up to 40% of land-based carbon.
How many trees will we continue to pulverize for paper? The truth is we can help put a halt to harmful deforestation.
Alternatives to Traditional Toilet Paper
However, there is good news. Many companies are now adopting more sustainable practices to reduce their impact on trees and the environment. Some companies are using recycled paper to create toilet paper, while others are using alternative sources of raw materials, such as our favorite, bamboo!
These measures help to reduce the pressure on trees and conserve the environment.
Recycled toilet paper makes use of what is called post-consumer recycled content. This means the paper had a previous use and is being given new life. There's still a chance that chemicals and bleaching agents have been used in its production, but the good part is that no "new" trees are harvested to make recycled toilet paper.
We think we have the best sustainable solution for you, though. Bamboo has the potential to address these environmental concerns while delivering a satisfactory experience minus the toxins.
ecoHiny 100% bamboo toilet paper gives you the chance to wipe with good conscience! There are no chemicals, bleaches, dyes, fragrances, and most importantly, no trees in ecoHiny toilet paper!
Bamboo's sustainability makes it an ideal crop for replacing the use of hardwood trees in toilet paper production. Here are a few reasons why.
- Is incredibly fast-growing
- Doesn't require pesticides or fertilizers to thrive
- Regrows from its existing root systems, which leaves soil intact
- Requires less water to establish and maintain
Bamboo for ecoHiny toilet paper is sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This guarantees responsible, sustainable, and ethical practices from planting to harvest.
The Importance of Consumer Choices
As responsible, eco-conscious consumers, we have the power to make a difference in the amount of environmental damage done by the products we use.
The EPA reminds us that buying sustainable products can have a wide variety of potential human health and environmental impacts.
Sustainable products limit:
- Toxic exposures
- Air pollution
- Water pollution
- Climate change
- Natural resource use
- Waste disposal
- Ecosystem damage
From extracting the raw materials to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, product use, and disposal, buying sustainable means a better outlook for our environment. (4).
Companies committed to sustainability and reducing their environmental impact are those we should be buying from. You can reflect your values and sustainability goals by putting your purchasing power towards securing a healthier and more sustainable future for generations to come.
You can start with your toilet paper as a simple switch to reducing your environmental footprint.
Bamboo Toilet Paper is Better for Trees
ecoHiny is committed to delivering a quality product that meets all your environmental expectations. Buying from ecoHiny means using a tissue product that doesn't put a dent in our precious forests or pour harmful pollutants into our air and waterways.
If you have concerns about our global tree consumption, try bamboo toilet paper and distance yourself from deforestation!
- "The Issue With Tissue: How Americans are Flushing Forests Down the Toilet." Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/issue-tissue-how-americans-are-flushing-forests-down-toilet-report.pdf.
- Ratner, Paul. "Toilet Paper is a Giant Waste of Resources." Big Think, 29 Mar. 2020, bigthink.com/health/toilet-paper-is-a-giant-waste-of-resources/.
- "Price of Toilet Paper for the Planet." World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2015/articles/price-of-toilet-paper-for-the-planet.
- "Why Buy Greener Products?" United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2 June 2023, www.epa.gov/greenerproducts/why-buy-greener-products.