Americans Like Their Toilet Paper Soft, but Soft is Rough on Forests

When shopping for toilet paper, what are the most important buying factors?  One ply vs. two ply?  Brand? Price?  Well, how about softness?  Yes, that’s right…  Americans are indeed very obsessed with how soft their toilet paper is.  It’s natural for people to want to use toilet paper that has minimal abrasive properties.  After all – it’s a very sensitive area we’re dealing with!

We ran across a really interesting article on the topic of what it takes to manufacture soft toilet paper.  And the truth is revealing.  Here is the full article, but we’ve also prepared a synopsis for you below.

The national obsession with soft toilet paper has been a huge growth driver for brands like Charmin Ultra, Cottonelle Ultra and Quilted Northern Ultra.  But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries.  Although toilet paper can be made from recycled material at a similar cost, it is the fiber taken from living trees that help give it that plush feel, and large manufacturers rely on them.

Manufacturers concede that the main reason they have not switched to recycled material is that those fibers tend to be shorter than fibers from living trees.  Long fibers can be laid out and fluffed to make softer tissue.  Customers “demand soft and comfortable,” said James Malone, a spokesman for Georgia Pacific, the maker of Quilted Northern. “Recycled fiber cannot do it.”

The country’s soft-tissue habit — call it the Charmin effect — has not escaped the notice of environmentalists, who are increasingly making toilet tissue manufacturers the targets of campaigns.  “No forest of any kind should be used to make toilet paper,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist and waste expert with the Natural Resource Defense Council.

At bidetsPLUS, we agree with Dr. Hershkowitz.  And we’ll be reaching out to him to educate him on the benefits of a bidet toilet seat.  Because bidets use water to clean you, bidet seats can reduce 80% of toilet paper waste.  And talk about being SOFT… goodness, nothing is as soft as water!  It’s the best of both worlds.

Do something good for yourself, and for the environment.  Learn what other people are discovering about the bidet toilet seat.  Visit us at to learn more.

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