Why is Biodegradable Toilet Paper Safe?

The world is moving into a much greener direction these days with consumers swapping their plastic straws for cute reusable water bottles and switching from plastic grocery bags to trendy totes. We have one big beautiful planet that we all call home, so making little changes to reduce our carbon footprint is a no brainer. However, you might be asking yourself, “what else can I do to help?” 

An easy change that would not only benefit the earth but your septic tank would be by simply swapping from standard toilet paper to biodegradable toilet paper. However, with colorful influencers and the media pushing tons of products, how can one truly know what is safe and what isn’t. Sure, you might be seeing it everywhere you look these days, but if you have been asking yourself “Why is biodegradable toilet paper safe” then keep reading because we have all the information you need!

Biodegradable Toilet Paper

Technically speaking, all toilet paper on the market today is biodegradable because it is made from natural materials – whether it is from recycled paper or wood pulp from virgin trees. With that being said, traditional toilet paper will typically biodegrade at a much slower rate when compared to true biodegradable toilet paper.

When you flush contents down the toilet, it travels to your septic tank. There, solids such as toilet paper will sink to the bottom of the tank contributing to a thick layer of “sludge” which builds up over time. Water and natural bacteria will decompose some of the sludge, but an accumulation is bound to happen. When this does occur, a specialist is needed to pump your tank. In most cases, a septic tank should be inspected and pumped at least once every three to four years. 

Standard Toilet Paper vs True Biodegradable Toilet Paper

Standard toilet paper is made from trees. In fact, it is made by cutting down over 27,000 trees a day which contributes to 15% of the world’s deforestation. Standard toilet paper is made from virgin trees with a mix of 70% hardwood and 30% softwood. Aside from being terrible for the environment, fragrances and additives are often added to enhance the paper which can cause skin irritation. The bleach used to dye the paper has also been found to disrupt the natural bacterial of your septic tank.

True biodegradable toilet paper comes from sustainable sources such as:

  • Sugar cane paper – bagasse is the fibrous residue that is left over from the extraction of sugar from the sugarcane stalks. The bagasse fibers are woven together create a biodegradable toilet paper.
  • Bamboo paper – did you know that bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world? It can literally grow three feet in 24 hours and doesn’t have to be replanted. It is harvested once a year and uses 30% less water than hardwood trees. This means it breaks down much faster than its counterpart making it a great alternative to standard toilet paper.
  • Hemp – hemp causes quite a bit of controversy due to its psychedelic cousin – THC. However, hemp is extremely versatile and has been made into paper products like toilet paper for decades.
  • Kenaf – similar to bamboo, kenaf is a plant that grows very fast. The brown fibers of the plant are used to make rope, coarse cloth, and toilet paper.  

So, why is biodegradable toilet paper safe? 

Not only is it good for the environment, but it is designed to break down much more quickly making biodegradable toilet paper an extremely safe option. If you have not made the switch as of yet, we suggest giving it a try – we know you will not regret it!



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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