Why is Toilet Paper Important?
Checkout my video this is a summarized version of our in-depth article below.
Have you ever thought about why is toilet paper important? Yes, you may be using it every day, but a lot of people sometimes also overlook its use. Toilet papers are thin, absorbent papers that are used to clean oneself usually after defecation or urination and commonly found in rolls. But did you know that they also have a bit of interesting history?
The Chinese were producing at a rate of 10 million packages of 1,000 to 10,000 sheets each year by the early 14th century. And incidentally, thousands of perfumed paper sheets for the Hongwu Emperor’s imperial family were also created in 1393.
While paper became commonly available in the 15th century, modern commercially available toilet paper did not appear in the Western world until 1857, when Joseph Gayetty of New York advertised a “Medicated Paper, for the Water-Closet,” which was sold in packages of 500 sheets for 50 cents. Later, the Americans improvised its design and came up with ingenious forms before Gayetty’s products reached the market.
What People Used Before Toilet Paper?
Many different materials were used until the invention of modern toilet paper and the designs were based on which country the paper was made, on the weather conditions, social customs, and status of the people thus different materials were used.
Initially, disposable paper was costly and only available to the upper classes, resulting in a silent classism in toilet culture. Even during the Cold War, many communist bloc countries relied on scrap paper clippings or a coarse state-made roll made of recycled newspaper.
What Is Toilet Paper Made Of
Do you know what it is made of? They are now made of one or two plies of soft papers to make them more absorbent. However they also differ in their materials and how they are processed. We also have a variety of them and are available in different colors, scents, and brands.
Here are the specifics on what is toilet paper made of:
- The most significant distinction between them is between those made from virgin paper (from chipped wood) and those made from recycled paper so there are two types of production processes involved.
- To produce paper from virgin pulps, these must be harvested directly from trees. With recycled paper, the paper must be extremely durable so it won’t disintegrate easily once made into toilet paper.
- So, what is the paper made of if it’s from virgin paper? These papers are made from a mix of softwood (30 percent) and hardwood (70 percent) trees. Examples of softwood trees are the Douglas Firs and Southern yellow pines. On the other hand, the soft feel of toilet paper comes from hardwood trees like oaks and maples which have short fibers.
- Now, what is the paper made of if it’s from recycled paper? These toilet papers come from recycled papers/materials which were reprocessed and whitened using oxygen, ozone, sodium hydroxide, or peroxide. The first process is the washing of the recycled paper followed by the removal of the inks using a solution. It is then pulverized and reformed into thin, soft sheets then will be bleached and scented.
How Many Trees Does It Take to Make Toilet Paper?
Many ask how many trees does it take to make a role. Basically, one tree can produce roughly 100 pounds (45.35 kilograms) of toilet paper on average. According to NooTrees, we use about 57 sheets of wc paper every day and go to the bathroom 4 to 10 times per day.
Here are assumptions and facts on the making of toilet papers:
- Since trees vary in size and form, most mathematicians tend to calculate the amount of toilet rolls a tree can generate based on the volume of wood and a single cubic foot of wood is estimated to yield 40-80 rolls of paper.
- Regardless of the figures, certain factors can affect the weight of the wood, resulting in a difference in the amount of paper rolls produced. For example, the drying of the wood reduces its moisture content and this can affect the amount of paper produced.
There are also calculations to know how many trees does it take to make toilet paper. For example, a 40-foot tall pine tree with a perfect conical shape and a 1.5-foot diameter at ground level could yield 1,440 rolls, according to estimates. However, perfectly conical trees are very rare and trees of the same species can have identical volumes once they reached their full Hight.
- Engineering Toolbox says if a piece of wood is dried and the moisture content is reduced by 20%, the weight of the wood can be reduced by as much as 50% depending on the type of tree as different types of trees have different wood densities. Fact:
Did you know that the United States leads the world in usage and came up with the term “tree to toilet pipeline,”. Annually, the US industry is valued at about $32 billion and according to Statista, a German consumer surveying company, it is expected to rise at a rate of 1.9 percent per year.
The Importance of Toilet Paper
The moment you all have been waiting for. We will now tell you why is toilet paper important.
- Toilet papers play important roles in our everyday hygiene, cleanliness, and comfort thus becoming aides in the reduction of bacterial and communicable disease transmission.
- Flushing foreign items down the toilet when you don’t have the correct paper to use is bad for the sewage system. The fact that toilet paper dissolves easily is one of the reasons why we use it. Things like paper towels and magazine pages will keep their shape and take a long time to dissolve. They can clog pipes and cause drainage systems to overflow. Fatbergs will start to appear as well. They are a solidified mass made up of non-biodegradable solids. You should expect a lot of fatbergs to start taking over our sewers if we stop using toilet paper and don’t adapt quickly.
- May also be used as a viable water substitute. Since using the restroom, many people tend to wash their hands or other parts of their bodies. However, in certain areas where there is a constant shortage of water, it can be an excellent substitute in cleaning oneself.
- Toilet papers are useful in a variety of ways and has contributed to the development of modern life. It can be a valuable asset, particularly in the wiping and disposal of waste that can possibly be contaminated with the Corona virus (COVID-19).
more trivia for you on why is toilet paper important.
In March 2017, British Airways made headlines when one of its planes was forced to land at Gatwick Airport and was kept for more than five hours due to a shortage of toilet paper and other in-flight necessities. The bill for the angry passengers, who were scheduled to travel to the Caribbean, asked to be compensated and it came to just under £300,000. All because of the toilet paper shortage.
What is Septic Safe Toilet Paper?
Toilet paper is flushable, but do you know what is septic safe paper? This is the process on how you use your toilet using toilet papers so that your septic tank won’t run into problems. So if you live in a house with a septic tank, be careful of the toilet paper you use, especially the type of toilet paper and the volume you use. Septic plumbing systems, unlike sewage systems, cannot accommodate too much toilet papers.
Following the rules on the use of septic safe paper without first understanding how much the system can handle can be an expensive and frustrating failure for a homeowner. A septic system uses bacteria to spontaneously decompose the waste from your home so if your septic system is well-designed, this can last for several years without encountering problems.
So it is essential that choosing high-quality toilet paper for your septic tank would become a sure way in keeping things running smoothly. Take note that the sewage, water, and paper combination passes into the drainpipe and into the septic tank as you flush the toilet and the organic waste is broken down by the anaerobic bacteria that lives in the septic tank.
The following are examples of septic safe toilet paper:
- Single-Ply Paper
Single-ply paper is easier and more efficient for a septic tank to manage than heavy paper. The more multi-ply paper you use, the more frequently your septic tank will get clogged.
Biodegradable papers are manufactured from natural materials and do not contain chemicals that can clog the septic system. They tend to degrade much quicker and use less water than conventional papers. Their paper bonds are also looser and there are no non-dissolvable fibers in their components so it tends to break down quicker once it immersed in water.
Recycled Toilet Papers
Chemicals including chlorine bleach and formaldehyde, which are often used in the manufacturing of the traditional paper types, are absent in the production of toilet paper from recycled materials. To secure your septic tank and the environment, look for the tag “100% recycled materials.” Since they have less chemicals, recycled paper are gentler to septic tank bacteria.
Knowing what is septic safe toilet paper can benefit you in the long run. So the kind of paper you use has a significant impact on your septic tank’s efficiency and one of the safest preventative steps is to use septic-safe paper.
A paper that breaks down easily and can rest at the bottom of the tank can prevent clogging and formation of scums so this is the kind of paper that is best for septic systems.
If you are using a septic tank system and when shopping for toilet paper, stay away from these words that you may find in their packaging:
– Ultra-thick paper
– Toilet paper of three layers
– Heavy-duty paper
These types of toilet papers don’t break down quickly and they can also easily clog drain pipes. They tend to dissolve but can form clumps everywhere they accumulate. And if it gets trapped on something in your pipes like a jagged edge or corner, it will stay there for a long time, causing more and more toilet paper to accumulate and finally block the sewage line.
Why is Toilet Paper Being Hoarded?
As we already know, the reason why toilet paper is important is mainly because of the demand caused by the worldwide situation. Primarily, the outcome of the coronavirus-induced panic buying has made the availability of wc papers scarce particularly during the first months of pandemic in 2020 where the toilet papers have become sought-after commodities causing people to panic buy and hoard large quantities of them.
According to experts, the demand for the paper can be explained by behavioral economics: If everyone buys just what they require, there will be no shortages. But when people start to panic buy, it is also safe to do the same as you also need it.
Consumer wc paper demand has increased as a result of people who remain at home due to closures of businesses. While the number of people working for toilet paper manufacturers have decreased. And because people will always need wc paper especially during the pandemic and this also explains why toilet paper is important.
Why Toilet Papers Are Generally White in Color?
- The papers are generally bleached so if it’s brownish in color, it wasn’t bleached. Most manufacturers also do not invest in the production of colored toilet papers because these add up to the production process.
- White papers can decompose faster than colored toilet papers and that’s because the hydrogen peroxide or bleaching agents that were used for whitening the pulp enhances the softening and disintegration of the paper materials.
- Recycled toilet papers are mostly made from office papers and these are basically white.
Now that you have the answer on why is toilet paper important and discovered what toilet paper is made of and how many trees it takes to make toilet paper, you may now realize why you should be wary when buying toilet paper for your home especially if you’re on septic systems.
Remember, pay attention to the labels the next time you go shopping for toilet paper because you won’t realize your mistakes until you experience those awful toilet clogging issues.