Why is toilet paper pink in France (or papier toilette as the French would say)?

pink toilet paper

If you were ‘today years old’ when you learned that the French people prefer their toilet paper pink, you’re not alone. But why is pink such a popular choice in France, I hear you ask. Well, if we rewind a little, to around the 1960’s, France started using recycled paper to manufacture their loo rolls. This resulted in a greyish paper, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, wasn’t too pleasing on the eyes. Therefore, they had two choices – they could either bleach the paper white or dye it. (We’d like to propose a third option of keeping the original grey colour!) Coloured toilet paper was “on trend” during the 60’s, and through the 70’s, so dying the paper wouldn’t have seemed such an odd choice. It is said that pink was the regional preference at the time; how they came to this conclusion, is a mystery!

It is thought that this colour was selected to compliment the bathroom décor – pink bathroom anyone? Of course, white toilet paper is available in France (it’s also cheaper), it’s just much less common.

It has been suggested that the use of synthetically dyed papers can cause some unpleasant health issues, such as UTI’s and fungal infections. These dyes were not created to come into contact with skin, therefore, it would be reckless to imply that they’re safe to use on such sensitive areas of the body. Coloured toilet paper also takes longer to disintegrate, which is very bad for septic systems, and could cause some much unwanted blocked drains.

Toilet paper is ever evolving as we continuously search for the most environmentally friendly ways to produce this household essential. This brings us to the wonderful bamboo plant! Which, if you weren’t aware, is the fastest growing plant on the planet; and is technically grass (we have mentioned this before, but it isn’t just great!). You can find out all the amazing benefits, and why we chose bamboo here: https://www.bumboo.eco/pages/why-bamboo-toilet-roll. We’re very passionate about providing environmentally friendly toilet paper products, which is why we recently launched our unwhitened unbleached toilet paper, wrapper-free paper range – our most eco friendly tissue paper to date.

To summarise, the French affinity for pink toilet paper stemmed from a regional preference dating back to the 60’s - much time has passed since France started producing pink loo rolls so, unfortunately, we can’t see this changing any time soon.

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