Hardwood-made paper Growing populations, adoption of western lifestyles and sanitary improvements in developing countries are increasing global demand for toilet paper. Global forests are under attack to fulfill this increasing demand. Due to pressure from environmental organizations, paper manufacturers are turning to tree plantations. But the remedy is worse than the disease.
While the paper industry is turning to tree plantations, these monocultures often displace indigenous plant and animal life, require tremendous amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and soak up large quantities of water.
Recycled paper Some manufacturers fall back on forests, others turn to recycled fibers. But the roughness of recycled toilet paper leaves a lot to be desired. Consumers mainly want soft toilet paper. That is why recycled paper is not a worthy alternative and the main focus remains on wood-based toilet paper. As an article from the New York Times stated: "it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel.”
But even if we are willing to give up our extra soft toilet paper, we may get exposed to harmful substances that are detected in higher levels in recycled toilet paper. This is not surprising because recycled pulp comes from paper products that include harmful substances from previous printing processes.
It looks like we are at an impasse: hardwood toilet paper is bad for the environment, but recycled toilet paper is bad for our bodies...
Prevents Deforestation The use of bamboo significantly reduces deforestation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one hardwood tree produces approximately 45 kg of toilet paper and about 83 million toilet rolls are produced every day. Because so many trees are being cut down for toilet paper we need an alternative source such as bamboo, which grows up to 100 cm a day and is usually fully grown within three to five years.
Bamboo is the most sustainable alternative to wood. It is technically a grass and therefore does not require replanting. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and produces considerably more fiber on less land area than trees used to make hygienic paper products. In addition, bamboo produces about 30-35% more oxygen than other plants and trees and it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide, the largest greenhouse gas, by about the same amount.
Biodegradable Bamboo is 100 percent biodegradable and therefore better and safer for the environment. In addition, it is better for the quality of our soils and it does not leave as much remains and unwanted by-products during the production process.
Stronger, cooler and softer The natural properties of bamboo make it stronger than hardwood. In addition, it also feels cooler and softer. These three characteristics ensure that bamboo papers surpasse traditional and recycled papers in terms of quality and user experience.
Safe to use Despite major efforts for the environment, recycled paper fibers are treated with ink removers, harsh chemicals and other harmful substances. That is why recycled paper can cause skin problems with sensitive skin. Bamboo paper, on the other hand, is odor-resistant, antifungal, antibacterial and hypoallergenic. It is also produced without harmful chemicals.
Sustainable manufacturing The closed-loop system used to produce bamboo toilet paper requires that water and other materials are collected, reused and recycled. That is why bamboo production, in addition to requiring less energy, also uses only about one fifth of the water needed to convert wood pulp into the same amount of toilet paper.