Is Toilet Paper Biodegradable? (Facts to Know)

Is Toilet Paper Biodegradable? (Facts to Know)
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Is toilet paper biodegradable? Biodegradable is something that can decompose or be naturally broken by microorganisms.

Biodegradables are materials capable of being broken down by bacteria, which reduces the number of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere.

The question is, is toilet paper biodegradable?

Yes, toilet paper is biodegradable because it is made from natural materials that can decompose or be naturally broken by microorganisms. Biodegradable toilet papers are septic safe because they dissolve much faster than standard toilet paper.

Biodegradable materials

  1. Dead animals
  2. Paper waste
  3. Manure
  4. Human waste
  5. Hospital waste
  6. Sewage
  7. Dead plants
  8. Sewage sludge
  9. Food waste
  10. Slaughterhouse waste

Why is Toilet Paper Biodegradable?

Toilet papers are biodegradable because they are made from natural materials like wood and even recycled papers.

Biodegradable toilet papers are septic safe, and they dissolve much faster than standard toilet paper. Traditional toilet paper biodegrade more slowly.

The biodegradable toilet paper is not as bulky as the traditional toilet paper, and it takes less space in the septic tank.

The standard toilet paper is made with virgin trees with a mix of more hardwood than softwood. In contrast, the biodegradable toilet paper is made from different sources that are said to be more sustainable; these sources are:

Biodegradable Toilet Paper is made from:

Sugar cane paper

Toilet paper is made from bagasse. Bagasse is the leftover from sugar cane after extracting the juice. The good thing about this is that it reduces the excess waste left behind after the sugar cane processing.

Bamboo paper

Toilet papers are also gotten from bamboo. There are many bamboo benefits, which range from antibacterial qualities that make it needless to add chemicals.

Hemp

Hemp happens to be one of the plants capable of doing many things. It is said to be a possible solution to deforestation problems.

Kenaf

It is said that kenaf produces paper, friendly materials. A small quantity of kenaf can create a lot of paper friendly materials.

Best Biodegradable Toilet Papers

Are you looking for the best biodegradable toilet paper? We got you covered.

This is one of the good biodegradable toilet papers made from bamboo and sugarcane. This type of toilet paper is indeed tree-free. Click here for this product on Amazon.

This toilet paper will give you the things you are looking for from a biodegradable toilet paper. The good news is that it is easy to use and dissolves immediately after use. Click here for this product on Amazon.

This biodegradable toilet paper is safe for your septic tank. It is also good for RVs and lots more. Click here for this product on Amazon.

Advantages of Biodegradable Materials to the Environment

Compostable

It can compost. Biodegradable waste can turn into rich materials, leading to improved water and nutrients to help healthier plants with little need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Less Pollution

Biodegradable products cause less pollution because the products can be broken down into non-toxic components that cannot be poisonous to plants and water and cannot pollute the air.

Harmful Effects of Biodegradable Waste

Biodegradable wastes could be harmful to the environment. They are detrimental to the ground when they are in excess. They can affect the environment in the following ways:

  • They generate a large amount of microbial flora around the wastes. These microbes can cause many infectious diseases in humans, plants, and animals
  • These wastes emit a foul odor when burnt due to some certain gaseous substances released
  • The heaping of such wastes serve as a breeding ground for insects and rodents like mosquito and rats, spreading infectious diseases

Advantages of Non-biodegradable Waste

A significant advantage or benefit of non-biodegradable waste is that it can be recycled and reused.

  • Toilet paper is also called toilet tissue or toilet roll. It is a tissue paper product used to wipe the anus after defecating and clean after urinating or releasing other body fluids. This paper also serves as hand protection while cleaning the anus.
  • The toilet papers usually come in the form of a long strip of paper with a line on it and the paper being around another paper for storage. Most toilet papers that are being made are made to decompose in the septic tank after flushing.

Harmful Effects of Non-Biodegradable Waste

  • Excessive use of non-biodegradable products affects soils’ fertility due to the kind of acidic substances in chemicals like insecticides
  • Acidic substances can be washed away from grounds either by rain or erosion into the water bodies, thereby having a massive effect on lives in the sea such as fishes
  • Acidic substances are poisonous to the health, and if it finds its way into any food, humans being at the top of any food chain get affected by these toxic substances

Effects of Toilet Paper on our Environment

The use of toilet paper is harmful to our environment, but it is often ignored.

Statistics have it that the average American uses about one hundred rolls yearly. Now imagine the number of toilet papers being used if multiplied by the number of people in the US. That is a whole lot of toilet paper being used.

If we look at where it is being made from, many trees are being cut down yearly. We are facing a deforestation problem, and this doesn’t seem to be getting better.

The worst part is:

Most of the woods being used to produce toilet papers are taken from the virgin forest to create a fresh soft pulp converted into the toilet paper using chemicals.

These chemicals used for toilet paper production become rotten in the septic tank, which might find its way into water treatment centers. Water treatment centers can’t remove all chemicals that have contaminated the water.

The virgin forest is also known as the primary forest. It is an old-growth forest that has attained great age and has ecological features. These old-growth forests are economically valuable and also valuable for the ecosystem services that they provide.

The use of old-growth forests has caused many contentions between those in the logging industries and the environmentalist. Those in the logging industry tend to use these timbers to produce materials like paper and a lot more.

Simultaneously, the environmentalist wants these trees kept for the numerous benefits they provide to the environment. The benefits of these trees to the environment are water purification, flood control, biodiversity, and forestation that is intentionally growing existing forests toward their ecological potential.

How Do We Become More Eco-Friendly?

As inhabitants of our environments, there are ways we can help ourselves by being more eco-friendly.

It is suitable for us to use biodegradable items. It may seem like it makes no difference, but it does. The use of biodegradables is the use of items that can be recycled. This helps reduce the environmental effect.

Recycled paper is not good enough to be used for toilet papers because they are not soft enough, and the use of this will make toilet papers less desirable.

Some toilet papers are made from recycled products. Those who use these recycled products to make toilet paper use oxygens, sodium hydroxide, or peroxide, which is used to whiten the paper.

Producers that produce virgin papers use chlorine dioxide, which has been seen not to be good for the environment.

Precautions Obsvered in Toilet Paper Making Process

Quality Control

Companies that produce these papers usually ensure the quality of the paper they make. The processes followed to ensure that quality toilet paper is produced are closely monitored. The chemicals used in the pulping process are closely monitored. 

Temperatures that are being used are also closely monitored by checking gauges, machinery, and methods. The completed paper is also tested to ensure quality, including stretchiness, content, smoothness, color, and opacity.

Byproducts/Waste

The first waste product produced in the making of toilet paper is the bark removed from the tree; this waste burns quickly and helps power the paper mills.

Another waste product that is gotten from the making of toilet paper is black liquor. This is the liquid gotten after pulping the wood. The liquid is, however, used to power the mill. This process produces a byproduct called tall oil. Most of the chemicals are recovered and reused.

The production of virgin toilet papers has brought up two controversies, which are:

  • Deforestation: Deforestation is the destruction of trees.
  • Use of chemicals: The use of chlorine dioxide for the production of toilet paper. 

The production of toilet paper makes it necessary for the destruction of trees. However, some activists believe that toilet papers should be produced from recycled products, and users of toilet papers should stay away from buying toilet papers made with new materials.

These activists are against the procession of new paper because it uses chemicals that are considered harmful to the environment.

The primary producers of dioxins are the paper and pulp mills, and the producer of toilet papers must closely assess dioxins’ emission.

Increasingly, the producers of virgin paper use an alternative bleaching method that uses chlorine instead of sodium hydroxide. Some reduce the quantity of chlorine used in the process.

  • Cottonelle’s Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper
  • Scott Paper Rapid-Dissolving Bath Tissue
  • Coleman Camper’s Toilet Paper
  • Thetford Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue
  • Coghlan’s 9177 Toilet Tissue

Final Thoughts

All toilet papers are biodegradable. However, some toilet papers dissolve faster than others. When considering different toilet paper options, the paper’s thickness will determine how fast it will break down or dissolve. Another thing that is to be considered when choosing toilet paper is if it releases harmful chemicals.