Oh Sheet!: The Environmental Impact of Conventional Toilet Paper

Trees are the lungs of our planet. They play a crucial role in our way of life by producing oxygen, purifying the air that we breathe and absorbing carbon dioxide. Not only that, they provide a home, food and habitat to billions of animals all over the world. However, humans and big corporations are destroying forests and tree plantations at an alarming rate all for the sake of household paper goods, consumer products and animal agriculture. And it’s absolutely frightening.

Most people do not even stop to consider the impact conventional household items such as toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, serviettes and other consumer products are having on our environment. The world consumption of paper has grown 400 per cent in the last 40 years with more than 4 billion trees, or 35% of the total trees cut, being used for paper. According to National Geographic and Claude Martin of WWF (Worldwide Find for Nature), the equivalent to 27,000 trees are flushed down our toilets or dumped in landfills around the world every single day and approximately 10% of that total can be attributed to toilet paper. (You can read more about toilet paper and its environmental impact here: Flushing Forests).

A pine forest is clearcut save for a small island of trees.

Further, the demand for toilet paper and personal hygiene paper products in developing countries continues to rise. As a consequence, more and more trees are being destroyed to meet the demand for consumer household paper products, thus impacting on our health and the environment as a result and destroying the natural habitat of even more animals. And for what? So we can all wipe our bums and flush the paper down the toilet or blow our nose and throw the tissue in the bin. Seems absolutely crazy, right?

To make matters worse, most conventional toilet papers are loaded with dyes, inks, chlorine and other toxic chemicals which you are using on one of the most absorbent parts of your body. Even though the idea of just grabbing any brand of mainstream dunny roll or box of tissues at the supermarket may seem easier and more convenient, stopping to actually think about the environmental impact something as simple as toilet paper and paper towel is having on our fragile earth and your own health is incredibly important. By making a small change in your household and switching to recycled toilet paper, tissues and paper towels, you are helping reduce the rate at which our trees are being cut down, preserving the natural habitats of wildlife and ensuring your health is taken greater care of.

Obviously avoiding the use of any paper products at all can be a challenge, but making small changes where possible is a great way to take a step in the right direction. I encourage you to make a more ethical and compassionate choice in regards to your household paper needs and consider turning to one of these fantastic brands when you are next due for a restock of the tissue products we all rely on.

Pure Planet

I have been using Pure Planet in my home for some time now and absolutely love it. Pure Planet offers 100% tree-free, three-ply toilet rolls made out of 100% renewable and recycled bamboo and sugarcane waste. Unlike some other recycled toilet papers, Pure Planet is super soft, strong and comes in beautifully wrapped individual rolls with six different artistic and colourful designs on the packaging.

Pure Planet offers fast delivery all around Australia and can deliver to a schedule depending on how many people live in your household. For example, for a two person household, you have a delivery of 36 rolls every 8 weeks. However, if you are organised, you can also order based on when you need them.

Available from Pure Planet.

Pure Planet

No Issues

No Issues is an amazing company that I have only recently discovered. A recent Major Prize Winner in the Australian Women’s Weekly inaugural Women in Business awards, No Issues founder Ziah Lane started the tree-free company after learning about the technology available to utilise bamboo in an impactful way. Lane believes that most consumers will make the ethical choice when provided with an option and has made it her mission to create a range of products that are kinder for our environment, its animals and its people.

With minimalistic packaging and a range consisting of super soft bamboo toilet paper, travel tissues, regular tissues and paper towel, No Issues offers a greener option for all your household paper goods.

No Issues is available at Coles, Woolworths and Harris Farms Markets, so you now have no excuse not to make a kinder choice when you find yourself doing a last-minute dash to the supermarket.


Who Gives A Crap?

Another notable brand and player in the recycled household paper good game is Who Gives A Crap? . Who Gives A Crap? creates 3-ply toilet paper with 400 sheets a roll and 50% of their profits go to WaterAid to help build toilets and improve sanitation in developing parts of the world.

A fantastic brand that has been around for quite some time. You will find Who Gives A Crap? products in most good health food stores and they also offer a fantastic home delivery service.


1 Comment

  • Lee says:

    Oh, it’s a pitty I’ve never heard of or found these anywhere near where I live (Portugal). These options really are great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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