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Choosing eco-friendly toilet roll for your business

02 October 2023

Jennie Hollingsworth

Many businesses today are mindful of the impact they make on the environment but have you thought about whether the toilet roll you use is eco-friendly?

Switching to eco-friendly toilet paper may not be the most exciting way to boost your eco-credentials but it’s one simple swap that’s worth considering. After all - using toilet paper is a non-negotiable for most of us. Just think back to the chaos that ensued in 2020 when we thought we might run out of it!

Research shows people in the UK use around 127 toilet rolls per year so if we spend most of our time at work then the toilet roll your business uses matters. 

So, next time you stock up on your mini jumbo toilet roll, take some time to consider if it’s eco-friendly. 

How is traditional toilet roll made?

Toilet roll is traditionally made from bleached tree pulp. One tree typically produces 800 rolls, or 180 kg of toilet roll, and as many as 83 million rolls are produced per day.

The main materials used to produce toilet paper include:

  • Hardwood tree pulp (e.g. oak or maple) – containing short fibres, which give the paper softness
  • Softwood tree pulp (e.g. fir or pine) – containing long fibres, which provide the paper with strength
  • Chemicals for extracting fibre
  • Bleach (e.g. chlorine dioxide)
  • Water to soak the mixture and connect all the ingredients

How is eco-friendly toilet roll different?

Nowadays, there’s several alternatives to traditional toilet rolls and these use more sustainable raw materials.

But, like with most eco-friendly products, there’s a number of things to consider when making your choice. 

Bamboo toilet roll

Bamboo is a common alternative for making toilet paper because it’s the fastest growing plant in the world but it’s not a straightforward choice because sometimes land is cleared to let it grow.  

Also, while bamboo grows in many parts of the world it’s often imported from China, so it may not always be your most eco-friendly option due to the transportation involved. 

No matter what your toilet roll is made of, it’s worth considering how it’s transported to you. If it’s transported on a long-haul flight then it’s unlikely to be the most sustainable choice.

Recycled toilet roll

Recycled toilet roll is a good alternative to traditional toilet roll because it’s often made from material like old newspapers and magazines, or recycled office paper. So, you’ll be saving on cutting down trees. 

Plus, the raw materials being used are likely to be sourced locally so they can be transported more sustainably.

Some other things to consider when choosing your eco-friendly loo roll include:

  • Is it bleached or unbleached? Although bleached paper is thought to be softer and more absorbent that isn’t always the case.
  • How is it wrapped? Avoiding single use plastic is a big bonus for the environment. You're also better off opting for rolls wrapped in bulk rather than individually.
  • How much do you know about the supply chain? The less transportation involved in getting your toilet roll to you the better. That’s why buying direct from a supplier like phs Direct is a good choice. Buying in bulk means fewer trips and it saves you money.

Do you know your eco-credentials?

There are a few things you can look for to assess your toilet roll’s eco-credentials at a glance.

  • The FSC-certified label is found on products that come from responsibly managed forestry.
  • The Nordic Swan Eco Label is one of the highest certifications you can find. It looks at the entire life cycle of a product to assess its credentials, so you don’t end up solving one problem but inadvertently creating another elsewhere.
  • The EU Eco Label looks into many aspects of a product’s eco-credentials, such as the energy consumption involved and whether they’ve taken care to minimise the use of harmful chemicals.

Which toilet roll suits your business?

At phs Direct we have several different types of toilet roll to best suits your needs. These include:

  • Mini jumbo toilet rolls which are made from recycled paper and are ideal for busy washrooms, as they last longer than standard toilet rolls. This reduces the need for frequent checks by cleaning staff, which will also reduce costs. 
  • Micro jumbo toilet rolls which have the FSC label and are cost-effective, high capacity and suitable for any busy washroom. They are shrink-wrapped for easy storage. 
  • Bulk pack toilet paper which ensures only single sheets are dispensed to reduce waste and save on cost. The interleaf tissue is self-presenting to reduce the risk of cross contamination which makes it ideal for healthcare and care home settings.
  • Premium Tork Conventional Toilet Roll which is an extra soft plush toilet paper that is perfect for upmarket settings like luxury hotels. It has both the FSC and Eco labels.

So, if you’d like to make the switch to more eco-friendly toilet roll that meets your business needs feel free to contact us and one of our experts will be happy to help.