We use tissue paper every day and it’s hard to imagine life without it. In many parts of the world, there are no viable alternatives to toilet paper.
Tissue consumption is linked to the level of development. According to Statista, 73% of the world population has access to sanitation.
This results in higher demand for tissue products. Statistics show that:
- The average person uses 100 toilet rolls every year.
- Production is currently at 84 million rolls per year.
Bark from mature trees makes most of the tissue paper produced worldwide.
Many of these trees are part of old ecosystems and when cut, they have a negative impact on the environment.
Although tissue products are irreplaceable, they have a high cost to the environment. This has led to an increase in eco-friendly tissue brands.
Recyclable materials and fibres such as bamboo and sugarcane produce such products.
More organisations are recognising the need to use recycled paper materials. However, tissue products are often forgotten.
These tips will teach you how to buy eco-friendly toilet paper for your company, in bulk. Use them to increase your organisation's contribution towards sustainable development.
Another plus for your company? They are usually cheaper than regular commercial toilet paper.
Importance of Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
It is clear that we all need to play a role in protecting the environment. Purchasing eco-friendly toilet paper is an easy way to make a small, yet, important impact.
Toilet paper harms the environment because it is a single-use paper product. Toilet paper manufacturing uses up to 10% of trees that are harvested globally. This amounts to 1.8 million acres of forest every year.
Many of these forests are virgin forests, meaning they have never been cut down before. These forests are host to many endangered species. They also help prevent soil erosion and flooding.
Toilet paper made from recycled materials saves a large amount of natural resources. One tonne of recycled paper saves 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil and 4100 KW of electricity.
Reducing production of commercial toilet paper is one way to protect these resources.
This is relevant for organisations that use a toilet paper dispenser in the office. With a high number of users, they can make a bigger impact than normal households.
Key Features of Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
1. Packaged Using Recyclable Materials
Corrugated cardboard is the most common form of recyclable packaging. Most of the pulp used to make it is harvested from sustainable forests.
These forests are planted for this purpose and cause minimal harm to the environment. It is completely biodegradable and users recycle over 80% of the UK's cardboard.
2. Made Using Alternative Fibres
Alternative fibres include bamboo, sugarcane and wheat.
The Guinness Book of Records lists bamboo as the fastest-growing plant in the world.
Take a look at the differences between bamboo tissue compared to virgin pulp toilet paper.
|Speed of growth||Bamboo is the fastest growing plant.||Trees take many years to grow.|
|Water and pesticide usage||Bamboo uses less water and pesticides.||Planted trees need pesticides and constant water supply.|
|Fibre composition||Bamboo contains long fibres and high cellulose content which makes for strong paper.||Strong paper requires combination of softwood and hardwood.|
|Compostability||Bamboo is easily decomposed with no impact on global warming or soil erosion.||Chemicals mixed with tree pulp make it hard to dissolve and it ends up in landfills.|
3. Made Using Recycled Paper
Recycled tissue used to be considered not as soft or absorbent as tissues made from virgin pulp. This is no longer true.
Advances in technology have made these perceptions unsustainable.
Using recycled tissue paper could also end up being cheaper for your organisation.
How to Buy Eco-Friendly Bulk Toilet Paper
There are a few ways to identify eco-friendly brands. Use these tips to make sure you are making the right buying decision.
1. Look for Certifications
When looking for eco-friendly tissue paper look for certifications on the packaging. Verified environmental protection agencies issue these certificates.
Look for logos such as Choice NZ, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). FSC & PEFC are both NGO’s which work to ensure that tissue paper meets various criteria.
FSC certified forests, recycled materials and controlled wood make FSC Mix toilet paper.
Controlled wood cannot be illegally harvested or harvested in violation of conservation measures. It also cannot be in violation of civil rights or from genetically modified trees.
2. Choose Toilet Paper Made by Alternative Brands
Choose brands that use sugarcane or bamboo forests to make the biodegradable paper. These are extremely fast-growing plants. When cut down, they have minor negative impacts on the environment.
Tissues made from wheat pulp are also environmentally friendly. They have been proved to be as absorbent and water-resistant as those made from hardwood.
3. Opt for Recycled Tissue Paper
Recycled TP is another option and the best is unbleached, chlorine-free toilet paper. This is made by mixing and mashing different types of paper, after which the ink is removed. The pulp may then be bleached and rolled into a large spool.
One negative aspect of recycled paper is the presence of bisphenol A or BPA. This comes from the ink used for printing sales receipts. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor linked to cancer and early puberty.
What to Avoid When Looking for Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper
1. Products Made of Virgin Pulp
According to The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, production of toilet paper from virgin pulp results in 30% more greenhouse gas emissions than that of recycled TP. Furthermore, a single tissue roll needs around 140 litres of water.
Forest logging also results in high levels of deforestation. This is evident in the decline of Canada’s boreal forests.
2. Chlorine-Bleached Products
Normal tissue paper uses elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleach to whiten it. This process releases gases into the air and water, negatively affecting people and animals.
Recycled tissue paper requires less bleach as the reused paper was already bleached. Products labelled ‘processed chlorine-free (PCF)’, use oxygen, ozone and hydrogen peroxide.
3. Products Wrapped in Plastic
Plastics have obvious negative consequences. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This has negative economic impacts on the fishing and tourism industries. Because most plastics are not biodegradable, opt for zero waste alternatives.
Plastics made from milk proteins, called casein, have been used for centuries. However, this went out of fashion as they were not very long-lasting. Improvements in technology have changed this. Companies are now planning on developing packaging for the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.
Another alternative is silberboard or metallised paper which is compostable and recyclable.
Finding environmentally friendly packaging may be difficult right now. Worry not. It will become more common as manufacturers realise the economic and environmental value.
Make the Move to Eco-Friendly Bulk Tissue Paper
There are numerous brands offering eco-friendly bulk tissue paper. Sometimes it is necessary to confirm the reputation of the manufacturer.
Australian Linen Supply makes this buying process quick and easy with its Georgia Pacific Cormatic Paper Hand Towel. It is durable, soft and highly absorbent - perfect for busy offices and foodservice establishments.
The roll is designed to fit the Georgia Pacific - Cormatic Paper Dispenser With Lock. Georgia Pacific’s hand towels are made with at least 40% recycled materials and are chlorine-free.
They are also ECOLOGO® certified which means they have undergone extensive testing. This indicates that their products have a reduced environmental impact.
Why wait? Contact ALS today and start your order.
Source: Erik Mclean