Did you ever think you’d see “toilet paper,” “ethical” and “conscience” in the same article? 🙂
Toilet paper – the one product that the majority of us use just once and flush away – is becoming less sustainable, according to research.
Analysis from Ethical Consumer magazine found that major brands were using less recycled paper than in 2011, while only five of the nine major supermarkets (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. The large-scale use of virgin paper contributes to unnecessary deforestation….
“There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll, yet this is precisely what is happening,” said Alex Crumbie, a researcher for Ethical Consumer. “With consumer attention focused on plastic, some of the big brands have slowed and even reversed their use of recycled paper in the toilet rolls they make.”
The study singles out Kimberly-Clark, one of the biggest suppliers of toilet tissue worldwide. The proportion of recycled wood pulp used by the company has fallen over the years. In 2011, just under 30% of the total fibre used was recycled, but by 2017 this figure had fallen to 23.5%. Its popular Andrex brand used to offer a recycled/bamboo range but this was discontinued in 2015….
The new research flags to consumers that the chemicals used in the production of recycled paper are far less toxic than those used to bleach virgin pulp. It also warns consumers to be wary of thinking an FSC label on toilet roll is enough to ease their conscience.
Most toilet rolls use the FSC Mix mark. This means the paper is made from a mix of FSC virgin wood, recycled, and virgin wood from “controlled sources”. These are not fully certified FSC forests, but are considered low risk….
“Only around 30% of the world’s population uses toilet roll,” Crumbie added, “so we know that there are lots of perfectly hygienic alternatives to using paper-based products….