Wow, so you are still reading, respect! Maybe it is because you have been in a similar situation. Picture this: Me in the middle of the BIGGEST supermarket you can find here in Buenos Aires where the toilet paper aisle is longer than my appartment. But when I shyly ask: “Sorry…do you have one with recycled paper?” I get that face. I know that face very well. It is the “Of course not. You are weird” – face.
Here is a short guide in what to look for when buying environmental friendly toilet paper:
1) Check the PCW-content. It stands for post consumer waste. Which is basically the amount of fibres which are actually products of recycling “Don’t be fooled by labels touting the word “recycled” without a PCW percentage since the product is likely made with only a fraction of post-consumer waste—typically as little as 10 percent.”
2) “Check to see how the product has been whitened, being careful to avoid products whitened with chlorine bleach.” That stuff is very toxic and ends up in our water and generally the environment and is therefore to avoid.
Now to make it easier for you there are some lists of toilet papers which are as good as it gets. Greenpeace UK has recently published the New Zealand toilet paper guide. This Conservatree list helps you buy those precious roles in Canada and the US. More about the situation in Europe you can find in this article by the WWF.
Here are some highlights:
– Everyday about 270,000 trees are effectively flushed down the toilet or end up as garbage around the world.
– An average European uses 13kg toilet paper a year.
– high-quality virgin fibres are taken directly from natural forests and plantations around the world, including Latin America, Canada, the US, South Africa, Russia, Asia and Europe.
Picture provided by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaged, thank you!