Now, be honest: how many layers has your toilet paper?
Grist recently reported that “we’re now using more trees for toilet paper than for newsprint.” What is true for the US is most probably not very different from other western countries – and it’s definitely not only due to the slowly dying newspaper industry.Luxury toilet paper – you know that one which smells nice, has several layers and a nice and soft texture – is made out of 100% virgin content (real trees which got cut down for being flushed down your toilet). “Normal” toilet paper on the other hand holds a recycled content of about 60% and 100% recycled is available too. Is is the consumption of the luxury type, however, which is growing fast in the western world – especially the US.
Elsewhere in the world toilet paper – luxury or not – is not a given thing. If you’re supposed to always bring your own roll, believe me you’ll use less. And using less seems to be the only solution to keep some of the trees in the forests. Recycling is slowly becoming less of an option: “More toilet paper used to be made out of recycled office paper, but now that offices are going paperless, there’s less of the really high quality recyclable paper “, Grist writes.
Grist also proposes a rather radical alternative: to ban toilet paper altogether. They say that in countries like France (or Thailand) where people use water instead of paper, the usage is much smaller. Maybe a ban is not even necessary. Let’s start like this: we all reduce one layer of our toilet paper (obviously of the recycled kind). In the end you have to ask yourself “Should I contribute to clear-cutting and deforestation because the big [marketing] machine has told me that softness is important?” (Natural News). Who is in?
picture by mastahanky, thank you!