March 5, 2009

A Soft 'n' Gentle Forest Killer?

The environmental costs of “luxury” toilet paper may exceed that of driving an SUV or eating fast food, reports the Guardian.

Toilet paper made from virgin forests accounts for 98 percent of the U.S. domestic market, with tissue made from recycled paper, which doesn’t “fluff up” as easily, trailing behind.

The United States is the world’s biggest consumer of paper, yet less than a third of all paper products used nationwide are recycled.

One scientist told the Guardian, “People just don’t understand that softness equals ecological destruction.”

In addition to causing deforestation, making toilet paper is water intensive and produces chemical pollution.

–Julia Hengst/Newsdesk.org

Source:

“American taste for soft toilet roll ‘worse than driving Hummers'”
The Guardian, February 26, 2009

4 thoughts on “A Soft 'n' Gentle Forest Killer?

  1. This is an item that could rate a vulgar post, but at the risk of sounding vulgar–this is the “bottom line” of wastefulness. Yes, wasting paper on the bottom line as it were.

  2. Folks in the States may be wondering exactly what “non-soft” TP exists, since we don’t sell anything here that doesn’t feel like fluffy lil’ clouds.
    Having lived in Britain, I know why the Brits are able to distinguish “fluffy” from “non.” Their TP is like butcher paper. Seriously, it’s like newsprint. I’m not bitching, I thought it was fine and got used to it after awhile. But if you tried to sell that stuff here people would probably go into seizures and complain that we’d devolved into a Soviet gulag state.
    But the Guardian’s absolutely right, our Wonder Bread wipes are a waste of resources and money. When you buy a roll of TP in Dear Old Blighty it feels like a brick and it should. Britannia rules the waves — flush!

  3. As most of our grocery shopping is done at our local Co-op, Madison Market, we always get 100

    As most of our grocery shopping is @ our local co-op, we always get 100% recycled TP. While not as fluffy as non-recycled TP, it is soft and absorbant, unlike European TP. I don’t know whether EU TP is made from recycled paper or not, but it has been a different texture than US TP for over 40 years.

    recycled TP. Is is soft, unlike European TP. I don’t know if European TP is recycled or just produced thin and fairly slick.

    5

  4. The U.S. Forest Service has been involved in planting more trees than have been harvested since the early 1900’s when the Forest Service was created along with national parks to ensure the United States would never experience a timber “famine” such as the one in Europe. I do not believe that soft “TP” is going to ruin our timber resources. But I guess like with everything else, We could always use plastic right?