The Dirty History: Is Toilet Paper Biodegradable

In America, the average person uses one hundred rolls of toilet paper a year; we are literately flushing our money down the toilet.

Luckily we’re also becoming more aware that using paper is having some seriously detrimental effects on the planet. In earlier posts I covered the question, is paper biodegradable?


Is all toilet paper biodegradable? And what impact is toilet paper having on the world?

Is Toilet Paper Biodegradable?

Yes, all toilet paper is biodegradable because it is made from the same natural materials as paper-like wood pulp. But biodegradable toilet paper is different because it dissolves faster which makes it naturally septic safe as well.

At first, I thought biodegradable toilet paper was just for marketing their toilet paper and making it more expensive. But, after some research, I found out this was not the case at all.Toilet paper wasting money

Biodegradable toilet paper might be a more expensive option. But, it does break down four times quicker and uses a lot less water than traditional bath tissue.

The differences don’t stop there.

Standard bath tissue is made using virgin trees with a mix of 70% hardwood and 30% softwood.

Whereas biodegradable toilet paper is made from more sustainable sources:

Sugar cane paper– Made from bagasse, which is a by-product leftover from making sugar. With sugar in such high demand, it’s unlikely to ever run out. Another nice thing is, it cuts down on the excessive waste left behind from the production of sugar.

Bamboo paper – Bamboo grows in abundance all over the world in varying conditions. This an up and coming star in not only living in a plastic-free world but, becoming paper-free too. To add to the benefits, it also has antibacterial qualities, so no need to add chemicals. With the increasing popularity of eco-friendly alternatives, the production and use of bamboo toilet paper have gained traction, serving as a sustainable and naturally antibacterial option for conscientious consumers.

Hemp – It’s one of the most versatile plants in the world, yet it still has a bad reputation due to marijuana usage. With hemp being in abundance in most US states, it’s a very viable solution to deforestation problems.

Kenaf – Is a ridiculously fast-growing plant. Research showed that one hector of Kenaf could produce fifteen tons of paper friendly materials. That’s a crazy amount of paper for such a small area.

So, is tissue paper biodegradable?

Yep, it’s just some biodegradable toilet paper is a lot more effective than others.

The best bit is:

Not only does it help save on water, but it’s also more eco-friendly.

How Long Does It Take Toilet Paper To Decompose?

It might not be as quick and efficient as you think, think how often septic systems get blocked up due to toilet tissue.

In most cases, it can take as little as one month, perfect, right?Toilet paper decomposing

Well, in the wrong conditions it could take anywhere in between one and three years for it to fully decompose. It’s crazy to think little sheets of paper could take that long to decompose.

But, as I said, it all depends on varying factors:

  • The thickness of the tissue
  • How much water is available
  • The weather conditions it’s exposed to

Like I mentioned before, biodegradable paper products are all designed to break down quicker than your standard soft toilet rolls.

Although all toilet paper decomposes, eventually, there is a more pressing question we need to answer:

What Effect Is Toilet Paper Having On Our In Environment?

The use of toilet paper is harming our planet, but most people tend not to think about it. At the very most, it may have crossed your mind.

I mentioned early that the average American uses around one hundred rolls per year if you times that with how many people there is in the US, that’s a lot of toilet roll!

And if we remember what it’s made from, then that’s a lot of trees being cut down!A cut down tree

We are already facing deforestation problems. And with the National Geographic claiming almost27,000 trees are flushed down the toilet every day, it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

The worst part is:

Most of the wood used to create toilet paper istaken from virgin forests to create fresh soft pulp. Which, is then turned in to paper after being pumped with chemicals.

The chemicals that are used to make toilet paper is then left to rot in our septic tank or makes a way to a water treatment center.

You might think that water treatment centers can remove all the chemicals, but that isn’t the case.

How Do We Become More Eco-Friendly?

As a customer, you need to stay united; using an item that can biodegrade, might seem like it doesn’t make a difference, but it does.

Any item that we can reuse or lowers the environmental impact we as humans have created is a great thing and must be continued.

Now, you might be thinking, why don’t we use recycled paper to make toilet rolls?recycled toilet roll

And it’s a great question but, unfortunately, the customer speaks loader than the environmental effects do.

The recycled paper isn’t soft enough for consumers making recycled toilet roll less desirable.

Which Is The Best Biodegradable Toilet Paper?

For me it has to be Coleman toilet paper, not only is it super soft…

…but it breaks down quickly with very little water.

Coleman Company Biodegradable Camp Toilet Paper 4 Pack
44 Reviews
Coleman Company Biodegradable Camp Toilet Paper 4 Pack
  • Paper friendly to environment, contains no dyes, no perfumes
  • Camping toilet paper dissolves rapidly, reducing clogs
  • Four toilet paper rolls per package

They also have a good selection of products, for example, Coleman bio wipes.

If you like the outdoors like me, you’ll understand how hard it is to get a shower.

These little wipes are easy to carry and of course, make you feel clean when you need it.

The best bit:

They fully biodegrade, leaving no traces behind!

So, yes, toilet paper does degrade, even if it can take varying amounts of time to decompose fully. But, it doesn’t come without its own problems.

Our only option is to move to a more sustainable source. If you’re looking for some good sustainability blogs check out some of these pages.

If you have any questions, please comment bellow so, we can answer your burning questions. Or if you like what you’ve read, don’t forget to hit the share button.

The more people that start taking action, the better the world will be!

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