Is Biodegradable Toilet Paper Right For You? What To Know Before Buying

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Toilet paper is a bathroom essential. However, we don't usually think about how it's made or what happens after it's flushed down the drain. Traditional toilet paper, made from newly cut trees, can take years to decompose. While its wood fibers break down naturally, wood pulp tissue often contains synthetic materials that won't disintegrate, making this product only partially biodegradable. But there is sustainable toilet paper on the market that is completely biodegradable.

Truly biodegradable tissues are designed to decompose within just a few weeks, while the average roll can take months or years. Biodegradable tissues can be made from recycled paper, bamboo, sugar cane, or hemp. These natural fibers are shorter than those of freshly cut trees, which makes them break down faster than regular wood pulp bathroom tissue. Not only is biodegradable paper eco-friendly, but it can be better for your home's sewer system. So, you may want to rethink buying these popular brands of toilet paper and switch to a biodegradable option instead.

Benefits of biodegradable toilet paper

True biodegradable bathroom tissue can be better for you, the planet, and your sewer system. It can be a great alternative for those with sensitive skin, as some tissue made from recycled paper, bamboo, sugar cane, or hemp doesn't contain any synthetic chemicals. From an environmental standpoint, biodegradable toilet paper doesn't require cutting down trees to make — so there is no reason to worry about deforestation — and its production doesn't emit excess carbon that contributes to climate change. We can't say the same about traditional wood pulp toilet tissue. It is also a type of toilet paper that won't mess up your septic tank.

Thinner, one-ply rolls of biodegradable toilet paper decompose faster than multiply-ply versions. On the downside, the thinner plys won't be as soft on your bottom. Biodegradable toilet paper can also be more expensive than the average roll. PlantPaper delivers biodegradable tissue with its 100% bamboo product at $42 for 16 rolls. Natural Value sells 100% recycled tissue, costing just under $32 for 16 rolls. Both brands have received high marks on the Natural Resources Defense Council's toilet paper scorecard and offer discounts for their subscription model. If you're looking to be more eco-friendly, avoid clogs in your septic tank, or want chemical-free tissues, switching to biodegradable toilet paper might be right for you.