Without wanting to sound too complacent we’re rather proud of A Good Bamboo Toilet Paper. We developed it as a more sustainable solution to regular toilet paper across every phase of the production, from the sourcing of raw material right through to manufacture, shipping and delivery.
Here’s how we did it.
Step One: Identify the problem
The average American goes through 23.6 rolls of toilet paper (TP) per year. If we take America as an average and then multiply that by the 30% of the global population that uses toilet paper, around 2.1 billion people, then that’s... well we’ve run out of fingers but it’s a lot of rolls.
Since TP is such a huge staple we decided to do some research into the industry. We didn’t like what we found.
It turns out that most toilet paper is made from virgin wood pulp, which means cutting down trees, uses polluting chemicals such as chlorine as bleaching agent, and is wrapped in plastic.
To quote legendary reggae artist Dawn Penn: No, no, no.
Step Two: Find an alternative material
To overcome the virgin wood problem we knew we needed to find a more sustainable alternative that has similar qualities. Enter bamboo.
Actually a type of grass, it has similar properties to hardwood trees used to make regular wood pulp TP and is a more than adequate substitute. The benefits are:
- Rapid growth - bamboo grows extremely quickly and, unlike trees, can be reharvested over and over after reaching maturity
- Water efficiency - twice that of trees
- Increased yield - typically the average yield of bamboo of up to 150 tons per acre greatly exceeds the yield of 25 tons for most trees
- Natural antibacterial properties - no need for pesticides
- Nutrients are stored in the root system - no need to fertilisers
- Absorbs twice the amount of carbon than trees and produces 30% more oxygen
- Makes soft, naturally antibacterial paper.
Bamboo truly is one of the most sustainable resources available to us, we love it.
Step Three: Find a toilet paper factory
Now we had the perfect material we had to find a factory. As bamboo is grown predominantly in Asia, we figured that would be the best place to find a factory to use it to make toilet paper with. Our intrepid sourcing team headed into the mountainous region of Guizhou in China, an area where bamboo has been growing naturally alongside other flora for thousands of years.
It was there, in the border city of Chishui, that they discovered the factory we were looking for. The factory has been running since 2001 and runs on hydropower. The process they use to make the toilet role is straightforward and clean.
Bamboo trees are turned into pulp and then pressed into the paper on giant-sized rolls. These are later divided into smaller rolls for smaller people like us. Any wastewater is taken care of in a closed-loop system and no bleaching chemicals are used.
Step Four: Delivery
Now another crucial step: delivering it to our customers.
We ship A Good Bamboo Toilet Paper from China to our fulfillment centre in Estonia and the US by climate compensated shipping. The last stage of delivery to your doorstep is also climate compensated.
To increase sustainability, we also introduced two major packaging innovations with A Good Toilet Paper:
- We exchanged the inner roll from pulp paper to bamboo paper
- We removed all plastic around each roll. Instead, we pack them individually with bamboo paper. No plastic.
Step Five: Keep evaluating
Everything from the raw material to the manufacturing process to packaging and delivery has been designed to have the least environmental impact possible. We know we’re not perfect though, and we’ll continue to keep looking at ways we can improve our process.