While toilet roll is often the last thing on anyone’s minds, it really should be the first we think about, given its frequency of use. Like tampons, razor blades and other everyday necessities, the humble roll has been recently retooled by the good folks behind Plant Paper – a newly launched brand of toilet paper made exclusively from sustainably and organically grown bamboo pulp harvested in China. Chosen because of how quickly it grows and regenerates, without the need of much water, any fertilizer, bamboo actually grows faster, the more regularly it is harvested.
Toilet paper made from bamboo pulp might not give the same impression of the quilted texture and ultra-soft feel most big name brands are touting, but the sad truth is that most commercial toilet paper is made from pulp gleaned from old-growth virgin trees. In the United States and Canada, many of these trees originate from the Canadian Boreal Forest, a major carbon sink for the Northern Hemisphere. Apart from the impact that this deforestation (on average it’s alleged that 27,000 trees are cut down a day to make toilet paper) has, it also takes over a gallon of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, bleaching agents and even some known carcinogens, to turn these big old trees into soft and fluffy rolls. While the chemical levels in the final product do comply with FDA regulations, some research does show that there can be a link to several maladies in the nether regions.
Enter Plant Paper, which is proudly chlorine free, dye-free, BPA-free and void of some of the most harmful chemicals out there, such as dioxin, furan and polychlorinated biphenyls. Naturally coloured a subtle beige, the surprisingly soft, yet thin paper does the job, despite its non-toxic processing. Rather than the feel of a rough and budget 1-ply toilet paper, Plant Paper feels comforting without all the extra fluff. It is embossed with a dimpled, double-sided pattern – silky one on front for dabbing and a more grippy side for grabbing, which means you get a lot more out of each wipe and use fewer sheets in the process. Thanks to the strength of bamboo fibre, the paper doesn’t shed or pill either.
Single rolls of Plant Paper currently come wrapped in recycled paper and 12-packs in compostable plastic, but the company has the goal of being completely plastic free by 2020. Low impact, organic and chemical free, it’s a wonder we even used anything else before.
Words: Pei-Ru Kehplantpaper.us