Toilet paper is a massive staple and is used in abundance all around the world. We decided to make eco-friendly toilet paper out of bamboo. Here's a breakdown on why bamboo toilet paper is more sustainable than regular toilet paper!
We did some calculating (as we always do before venturing into a new project!) and landed on the fact that your average American goes through 23.6 rolls of toilet paper per year.
If we take the U.S. population as an average and then multiply that by the 30% of the part of the world's population that uses toilet paper we end up with a mind-blowing number: around 2.1 billion people, then that’s... well we’ve run out of fingers but it’s a lot of rolls.
Why bamboo toilet paper is sustainable
Our favourite plant bamboo is actually a type of grass. Its properties are similar to hardwood trees that are used to make regular wood pulp toilet paper and is a fantastic substitute.
We've listed some of the greatest things about bamboo:
- Rapid growth - bamboo grows extremely quickly and, unlike trees, can be re-harvested over and over after reaching maturity
- Water efficiency - twice that of trees
- Increased yield - typically the average yield of bamboo of up to 150 tons per acre greatly exceeds the yield of 25 tons for most trees
- Natural antibacterial properties - no need for pesticides
- Nutrients are stored in the root system - no need to fertilisers
- Absorbs twice the amount of carbon than trees and produces 30% more oxygen
- Makes soft, naturally antibacterial paper.
- Bamboo truly is one of the most sustainable resources available to us, we love it.
How bamboo toilet paper is made
We make our awesome bamboo toilet paper in our factory in Chishui, China. This region is home to sustainably grown and harvested bamboo and so we thought it made perfect sense to produce the bamboo toilet paper there as well – to reduce the number of shipping miles back and forth across our planet.
The bamboo is turned into pulp and then pressed into the paper on giant-sized rolls. These are later divided into smaller rolls for smaller people like us humans.
Any wastewater is taken care of in a closed-loop system and no bleaching chemicals are used.
This is one of the massive issues with regular pulp toilet paper vs bamboo toilet paper; regular paper is bleached using climate-devastating chemicals and the process of producing it is incredibly wasteful in terms of water-usage.
The last mile of the roll
As a final touch, we exchanged the inner roll from pulp paper to bamboo paper!
Now the paper is shipped in bulk – which means it takes a slow journey on a container ship from China to Europe and our distribution centre in Estonia. From there it is sent to you with climate-compensated shipping.
All in all – the better alternative, don't you think?
What certificates exist?
The strongest guarantee that the bamboo is sourced sustainably is that it has been certified by the FSC (ours has). The FSC Bamboo mark not only ensures environmental sustainability, but it also promotes the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation, meaning that vital workers’ rights are upheld.
Top 5 facts about bamboo
1. Where does bamboo grow?
Bamboo grows primarily in the tropical and subtropical regions on Earth, but it can grow almost anywhere. It occurs naturally on all continents, except Antarctica and Europe.
2. What is bamboo?
Bamboo could easily be mistaken for wood, but it is, in fact, a kind of grass and not a tree.
3. How fast does bamboo grow?
Bamboo is in the Guinness World Records for being the fastest growing plant on Earth. How fast-growing? It depends, but there are, in fact, species of bamboo that are able to grow up to 1m per day, under the right circumstances.
4. What can bamboo be used for?
As such a versatile material and plant, bamboo can be used for a number of things! Bamboo toilet paper, cutlery, toothbrushes, straws, furniture and much more.
Here's a special bonus for reading this far!
Head of Communication & Sustainability
Communications specialist heading up Communications and Sustainability at agood company. Experience from working in a global corporation as well as cross-border agencies. Degree in Political Science from Lund University.