Does It Really Make a Difference What Kind of Toilet Paper I Buy?

Man carrying in groceries with two packs of toilet paper

Man carrying in groceries with two packs of toilet paper

Buying toilet paper DOES matter

We here in America really value toilet paper. When the pandemic raised its ugly head, the first thing Americans wanted to do was buy toilet paper. Not just one pack. Six or eight packs…because there are some things we just can’t do without, right?

By April of 2020, more than half the grocery stores in America were out of toilet paper.

Experts showed that because people were staying at home all the time during the pandemic, they used 40% more toilet paper than before the Coronavirus struck.

But even before that, the average family of 2.6 people, used 409 rolls of toilet paper per year.

We buy lots of toilet paper. In fact, it’s expected to be a 15.6 BILLION dollar industry (just for toilet paper) in 2022.

Different kinds of toilet paper

If you think you are limited in your choices in the TP department, think again.

The Ply

You can choose one, two, or three-ply papers. A “ply” refers to the number of layers of paper in a single sheet.

Originally, when toilet paper went on the market in 1857, introduced by J.C. Gayetty, it was single ply. Most papers after that were also single ply. However, as the industry grew and people grew dependent on the toilet paper, (good riddance to using the rough, torn pages from the Farmer’s Almanac!)

Then people started asking the companies for a stronger paper that couldn’t be punctured with a too-hearty wipe. Double and triple-ply papers started.

Here’s the rule: The more ply you buy, the more money you spend.

The Strength

These days, we have our choice of the strength of toilet paper. If you’re tough on your tush, you might want an extra-strong variety.

Chlorine, Dyes, and Fragrances

White toilet paper used to be white because of the chlorine bleach used to manufacture the product. But because chlorine was found to be hard on the environment and even harder on our skin, most manufacturers stopped using it. The use of chlorine, however, is not outlawed, and some companies continue to use it. Check the label.

You can also get toilet paper with lotions or fragrances. But keep in mind that the more added luxury you get to your wipe, the more you pay.

Toilet Paper Alternatives

Flushable wipes are a fast-growing alternative to toilet paper. People like them and doctors often recommend them because they offer a cleaner wipe.

More and more flushable wipes are being purchased by the consumer, and many companies, (notably Dude Wipes) offer individually packaged wipes that can be taken with you anywhere you go. (Literally.)

No matter what the package says, though, we STRONGLY recommend that you don't flush those wipes! Simply toss them in the trash can instead of down the toilet. Evidence proves that even though “flushables” go down the toilet, they take a long time to disintegrate and pile up in the sewers causing clogs called “Fatbergs.” Our plumbers see clogged toilets and gunked-up sewer lines all the time because of "flushable" wipes.

Better for the earth options

Every day, we cut down 227,000 trees to create a paper for the 7 BILLION rolls of toilet paper sold each year. Scientists believe that 40% of the world’s deforestation is because of the paper industry. If you put this into a global perspective, you can see that the earth will not have enough trees to sustain this.

But there are alternatives.

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the earth. Toilet paper made from bamboo is stronger than toilet paper made from wood pulp. Because it grows from seed to adult plant in 3-5 years versus a tree that takes 10-40 years to reach maturity, it can be harvested much more quickly and efficiently.

The quicker growth time and ability to replant on the same land over and over means that bamboo toilet paper takes almost 90% less land per finished sheet to produce!

Multiple companies are now manufacturing bamboo toilet paper or other toilet papers with earth-friendly substances like fibers from sugar cane.

  • No. 2
  • Who Gives a Crap
  • Caboo
  • Bim Bam Boo
  • Pure Planet

Bamboo and eco-friendly toilet papers are slightly more expensive, but many of them ship free, offer subscription services, don’t include harsh dyes or chemicals, and ship in plastic-free containers. Who Gives a Crap is a company with a cause. They give 50% of their profits to help the 40% of countries without toilets build them.

Your Choice

Your toilet paper is a matter of personal choice. In the end, (again, literally,) you have to decide whether you like soft, strong, single versus multi-ply, wet “flushable” wipes, or eco-friendly papers.

“Butt” yes, it really does matter what kind of toilet paper you buy.

ServiceOne understands toilets and plumbing and the problems that can result from too much toilet paper or clogged tanks. Call us. We’re here to help.

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