How many trees are cut down to make toilet paper?
Toilet paper - the household essential that is often taken for granted. Have you ever wondered how much of an impact toilet roll consumption has on the environment?
The toilet paper manufacturing process we are going to cover uses virgin wood pulp as its primary raw material. Virgin wood is derived from trees, making deforestation a key concern.
According to numerous sources, it is estimated that approximately 27,000 trees are cut down each day to make toilet paper, that’s 9.8 million trees a year. This is, however, an estimate, as it is very difficult to determine exactly how many trees are felled for toilet paper alone. According to Statista, consumer data specialists, approximately 127 loo rolls are used per person, per year, which equates to approximately 8.5 billion toilet rolls per annum in the UK alone.
Why should we stop cutting down trees for toilet paper?
- Deforestation - This is a major environmental issue that leads to habitat loss, climate change, soil erosion, and the loss of biodiversity.
- Soil Erosion - When a tree is felled it rarely regrows naturally; this means a new tree must planted; the removal of the tree roots can cause soil erosion. Soil erosion is the loss of fertile land, increased risk of flooding, and pollution of surrounding lands and waterways.
- Climate Change - Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release oxygen. The mass felling of trees greatly effects this process – resulting in carbon dioxide being released back into the atmosphere. Deforestation is the cause of approximately 10% of global warming.
- Social Impact - Communities around the world rely on forests for their livelihoods and cultural traditions. Cutting down trees can have a negative impact on these communities, by reducing their access to natural resources and disrupting their way of life.
- Sustainable alternatives. Bamboo for example is such a wonderful plant; it prevents soil erosion as new plants grow from the previously harvested roots. It is the quickest growing plant on the planet and can be re-harvested year after year for as many as 70 years! There are many other benefits and our reasons for choosing bamboo can be found here: https://www.bumboo.eco/pages/why-bamboo-toilet-roll
How can I help reduce the number of trees being cut down?
As an everyday consumer one of the most powerful ways in which we can help is by moving from traditional tree-based paper and start using more eco-friendly alternatives that are better for the planet.
It is bumboo’s mission to reduce deforestation which is why our extra-long toilet rolls are made from 100% bamboo. They are tree-free, plastic-free, and vegan. We also plant a tree for every box purchased through the Eden Reforestation Projects. We recently launched our unwhitened toilet paper option, and natural unwhitened facial tissues, for those wanting to reduce their environmental impact even further.
Ultimately, we do not know exactly how many trees are cut down each year to make toilet paper; we do know that whatever the figure, it is having a detrimental impact on our planet.
Photo credit: Roya Ann Miller @ Unsplash