Recently, there is a growing number of consumers who have begun considering the impact toilet paper rolls are having on the environment or ask, “is toilet paper biodegradable?”. Many are now inclining towards eco-friendly toilet paper brands.
So, is toilet paper biodegradable?
Well, technically, all types of toilet paper biodegrade since they are made up of natural materials like wood pulp. However, products grouped as biodegradable toilet paper are different from regular toilet tissue.
What is Biodegradable Toilet Paper Made Off?
Biodegradable toilet paper is made up of materials such as kenaf, sugar cane, hemp, or bamboo.
When comparing regular toilet paper to biodegradable paper, biodegradable products degrade four times faster. Also, they are known to utilize less water in the production process compared to traditional paper brands.
What’s the Difference Between Recyclable, Biodegradable, and Compostable?
With an increasing demand for sustainable products, more brands are beginning to redevelop their products and add terms such as compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable on their packaging. Well, what are the differences between the three terms?
Compostable: This refers to products that are made entirely of natural materials and can fully decompose without releasing any toxic residue. These, together with biodegradable materials, are not recyclable since they may contaminate the recycling process as they break down. However, research is being conducted to find a solution to this problem.
Biodegradable: This refers to products that can be broken down naturally by micro-organisms when exposed to optimum conditions.
Recyclable: This refers to products that can easily be recycled to create a new product, normally through doorstep recycling.
Recycled: This refers to products that are made from used materials.
Is Toilet Paper Compostable?
Toilet paper is compostable when subjected to certain circumstances since its compostability is determined by how the toilet roll has been used.
Some toilet paper will biodegrade faster compared to others, depending on the materials used in making them. Toilet paper made from virgin wood fibers or recycled materials is the best for composting since weaker fibers will decompose at a faster rate.
Also, bleaches and dyes used in the process of making toilet paper can affect its compostability.
Is Toilet Paper Recyclable?
Used toilet paper and kitchen rolls made out of recycled materials cannot be recycled again. This is because the fibers or the materials are too short, and therefore it will produce poor pulp in the recycling process.
The process of making toilet paper from recycled paper is straightforward. Recycled paper is mixed in warm water so as to create pulp, which is then rolled and flattened to release the water. It is then bleached with non-toxic chemicals.
The dry pulp is then rolled onto a spool and embossed with a pattern. Two sheets of paper are then wound around a cardboard tube before they are packaged ready for shipping.
How Long Does It Take for Toilet Paper to Decompose?
Your toilet paper can take five or more weeks to biodegrade, depending on if you have buried it or not. Sometimes, the process of biodegradation may not be as fast. Think of how frequently your septic system gets blocked up because of toilet paper.
In unfavorable conditions, biodegradation may take between 1 to 3 years to fully decompose.
The rate of biodegradation is heavily dependent on:
• The weather conditions the toilet paper is exposed to
• How much water is available
• The thickness of the tissue
Is It Better to Flush Toilet Paper or Throw it Away?
Well, it is not clear whether sewage treatment plants or landfills release more harmful gasses. In the end, nonetheless, flushing is way better sanitary than carting used toilet paper to the local landfill.
Is Toilet Paper Good for the Environment?
Toilet papers are not good for the environment since they use materials made from trees in the forest, contributing to deforestation and global warming.