Toilet paper is one of those little things we often don’t think about. Until we notice we’ve run out, of course. In fact, people on toilets without toilet paper have gone so far as to tweet their distress AND actually receive a fresh roll. Be Eco – Beco.
While such stunts certainly underlie the significance of our habits, there’s a more evil implication too: our consumption and manufacturing practices.
The market for toilet paper is still rife with virgin pulp toilet paper. The situation is worsened by a certain policy introduced in 2010. India permitted Chinese and Burmese imported toilet paper which are 45% cheaper than Indian manufactured brands.
With cheaper goods come new consumer expectations. Casual shoppers are less likely to look at a label anyhow. With significantly inexpensive options it’s not just penny-pinchers and super-shoppers opting for the most cost-effective selection.
The natural response of Indian manufacturers is quite obvious: cut costs and slash prices. Aside from importing Chinese pulp, manufacturers are also disregarding more costly methods, including the use of recyclables. That means more reckless clear-cutting of native forests throughout the country and around the world. After all, the time required to digest and expunge is far less than that needed to grow a tree.
Not all is negative, however. Some progress is being made. Perhaps more due to digitization than conservation, we are using less paper than before. A case-in-point is the Indian Conservation Fund. It managed to consume a staggering 30% less paper in 2015/16 compared to 2017/18. This is a change from 250,000 A4 sheets to 180,000.
In regards to negative aspects of recycled toilet paper, conscious consumers and the logging industry are both quick to point out that recycled paper is rife with BPA and BPS, known for inhibiting estrogenic glands. Such chemicals are easily absorbed through the skin, so wiping with recycled paper can seem an assuredly bad idea. However, what people fail to mention is that near all paper products contain BPA and BPS, from currency to concert tickets. In other words, BPA and BPS exposure is inescapable. Be Eco – Beco.