Toilet paper is getting less sustainable, researchers warn

THE GUARDIAN.COM

Toilet paper – the one product that the majority of us use just once and flush away – is becoming less sustainable, according to research. Analysis from Ethical Consumer magazine found that major brands were using less recycled paper than in 2011, while only five of the nine major supermarkets (the Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) offered an own-brand recycled toilet paper. The large-scale use of virgin paper contributes to unnecessary deforestation. The UK uses 1.3m tonnes of tissue a year, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries, with the average British consumer reportedly getting through 127 rolls every year. But the growing trend for “luxury” four-ply and quilted toilet roll is fuelling the use of virgin pulp in an effort to create the softest product, the study claims. “There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll, yet this is precisely what is happening,” said Alex Crumbie, a researcher for Ethical Consumer. “With consumer attention focused on plastic, some of the big brands have slowed and even reversed their use of recycled paper in the toilet rolls they make.”

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