How Toilet Paper Waste Hurts the Environment

How Toilet Paper Waste Hurts the Environment

If you’re seeking to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle, there are always areas to improve on. One area of waste that often gets overlooked is, well, how you clean up your own bodily waste. That is, the toilet paper you wipe with.

Conventional toilet paper is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide, and it’s anything but environmentally friendly. Read on to learn about the environmental impact of toilet paper and how The Good Roll provides a sustainable alternative.

Toilet Paper Consumption

The first issue with toilet paper is the sheer amount of it consumed every year. The US is a leader in the world of toilet paper consumption. According to Statista, the average American depletes 141 rolls of toilet paper per year or 12.7 kg of toilet paper. 

Europe follows close on America’s heels. Germany ranks as the second highest in annual toilet paper consumption worldwide, followed by the UK. In Germany, the average individual consumes 134 rolls, or 12.1 kg of toilet paper per year. According to Statista, Germany consumed a total of 1.45 million tons of toilet paper in 2018. The UK followed close behind, averaging 127 rolls, or 11.4 kg, of toilet paper per person and consuming a total of 1.12 million tons in 2018.


So where does all that toilet paper come from? According to Treehugger, making a single roll of toilet paper requires 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) of wood. The main resource used to make traditional toilet paper is virgin fiber pulp, or wood pulp which has never been used in other products. Virgin fiber pulp is harvested largely from forests such as Canada’s Boreal Forest and Sweden’s Great Northern Forest. Harvesting virgin fiber to produce toilet paper has been decimating these forests and the natural habitats they provide for many animal and plant species.

Chemical Pollution

The manufacturing process of toilet paper also harms the environment by releasing toxic chemicals. Once the harvested trees arrive at a pulp processing mill, they go through a chipping process, and the wood chips are mixed with chemicals to produce pulp. The pulp is then bleached in order to whiten the paper. Originally, elemental chlorine bleach was used, which released toxic chemicals into the air and water. Since the 1990s, toilet paper companies now use elemental chlorine free (ECF) bleach. Nevertheless, this bleach still releases chlorine gas into the atmosphere as a byproduct. 

The Good Roll: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

At The Good Roll, we seek to reduce environmental waste with our sustainable, 100% recycled toilet paper. Our toilet paper is made from recycled paper and cardboard, and no trees are cut down to make our product. In addition, we use no chemical bleaching agents to whiten the paper. With this our customers can counteract the conventional toilet paper market, and support the environment. 

For more fast facts on toilet paper waste and alternatives, check out this infographic below. 

Authors: Ashley Cottrell & Rachel Faulk

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