Like most paper products, toilet paper is produced primarily from trees. While more sustainable methods and materials have been introduced, most commercially available toilet paper products are made from wood pulp – and there’s simply no way to make wood pulp other than by cutting down trees.
What Kind of Tree Is Used to Make Toilet Paper?
While toilet paper companies don’t use a single specific species of tree, certain types of trees are needed. Toilet paper is usually made from virgin wood pulp, which is made from 70% hardwood (oaks, maples) and 30% softwood (pines and firs).
America’s Toilet Paper Habit Is Huge
Americans use a lot of toilet paper. The average person uses 141 rolls of toilet paper each year. According to Statista, the US consumes 20% of the world’s toilet paper while being home to just 4% of its total population.
The US toilet paper market is worth $31 billion annually.
Deforestation, Toilet Paper, and Climate Change
American toilet paper consumption contributes to deforestation across North America, but especially in the American Southeast and Canadian Northwest, where forests have also been heavily logged to produce toilet paper. The processing these trees adds 28.6 million metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere each year, further driving climate change.
According to one study, toilet paper made from virgin fiber has three times the climate impact as alternative toilet papers made from recycled materials, such as those sold by companies like Seventh Generation.
The Largest Toilet Paper Brands Refuse to Change
To date, many of the largest toilet paper brands have refused to make the switch to recycled materials, citing inferior strength and quality. Double- and triple-ply, quilted, and extra-soft types of virgin pulp toilet paper are especially damaging, with one report saying that these options are “worse than Hummers” from a sustainability standpoint.
How Many Toilet Paper Rolls Per Tree?
Most experts put the average number of toilet paper per tree at around 800. That means the average American will sacrifice roughly 14 trees throughout their life just for toilet paper.
Here’s How to Reduce Toilet Paper Use – Dramatically
Investing in a bidet seat or bidet attachment, some of which cost much less than what the average American household spends on toilet paper in a year, is a great way to practically eliminate your use of toilet paper.
Most bidet owners use 75% less toilet paper than the average household, and owners of bidets with air-dry features reduce their toilet paper use even more.
Reduce Your Use. Join the Bidet Movement.
Bio Bidet is committed to making the world a greener place. Find the right bidet toilet, bidet seat, or bidet attachment for your home with our comparison guide or contact us for help. Together, we can reduce toilet paper waste and save the world at the same time.