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The Toilet Paper Menace: The Science behind its unfriendliness


Production of toilet paper is a big industry. According to the US company Charmin, an American on average uses 57 sheets of toilet paper a day or 20,805 a year. The toilet paper industry is worth approximately 2.4 billion US dollars per year in America alone.

The main method used to make white toilet paper is chlorine bleaching. Statistics show that 1000 kg of pulp require 50-80 kg of chlorine to make it white. Organochlorine toxins resulting from the type of laundry are sometimes discharged into rivers, lakes and even oceans. Even if they are carefully arranged, the risk of contamination during handling of toxic residues after bleaching still exists.

The "US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)" estimates that dioxin is 300,000 times more carcinogenic than DDT, which makes dioxin one of the most toxic man-made chemicals on the planet. Although traces of dioxin elements can be found on toilet paper bleached with chlorine, this can cause problems if you do not wash your hands after touching toilet paper. Apart from toxic substances, a significant amount of trees are cut down every year to cater for the growing demand for toilet paper.

Most of us use toilet paper since our childhood. Therefore, as adults we continue to use this archaic method, unpleasant and ineffective without question.

A worse alternative

Some call them adult wipes, others call them baby wipes for adults, or maybe teenager wipes....Whatever wipes you decide to call them, they are really bad news to the eco system just like toilet paper. They make up a broad market currently valued at $13.2bn by Smithers Apex, a market research publisher. The market has been growing at 6% to 7% annually within the past decade. He predicts that it will continue to grow at a rate of 6.8% until 2019. This shows that they are very popular. Regardless of their same, if not more use of toxins, are they even flushable?

Apparently, manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. Due to false advertising, we are made to believe that the wipes are indeed flushable and can disintegrate fast. Companies producing these little devils have responded to these allegations by stating that the label is correct. However, they always say ”just because we labelled them flushable doesn’t mean that they won’t ruin sewers."

They have created very expensive clogs in cities like New York, San Francisco, London, Sydney, Toronto and many other places. They have become the scourge of municipal; and residential sewer systems around the world. They may be flushable literally, same as golf balls and car keys, but they don’t disintegrate. Numerous headlines about horrifying sewer problems and disasters seem to validate that flushable disposable wipes are indeed haunt our sewer systems. To show the seriousness of this matter, a 15-ton “fatberg” was dislodged from a sewer in London last fall. It was caked in grease and covered with wet wipes.

Removal of these monsters is not a cheap affair. With London spending more than $23 million on removal per year, Melbourne $70,000 (maybe guys here just don’t care or are super clean downstairs) and New York $23.5 million, we can clearly see how stubborn wipes can become once immersed in water.  In New York City, there is a bill that requires companies to label their products clearly. Will this really curb the wipes menace? Recently, in America, the use of baby wipes for adults has increased significantly. Yes! The baby wipes are now adult wipes.

So what is the best way to clean your butt without crippling waste treatment plants, clogging drainage sewers and degrading our ecosystem? When will the nightmares stop for waste handling personnel? Do you still want to spend millions of dollars on baby adult wipes that come back from the dead just like gold fish to haunt and torture our environment? Wait…if you are a level minded citizen the answer should be no, otherwise, you don’t poo at all. Bingo! The solution is here…obviously not superman...but a hand held bidet.

What is a hand held bidet?

Bidet comes from a French word meaning stout pony because sitting astride it is similar to positions one would take when riding the small horse. Today, there are hand-held bidets that are hygienic, easy to use and gentle on the skin.

A hand held bidet, often called a hand bidet is a toilet accessory that is similar in appearance to a small pipe. It is often installed in the existing pipe and hung on the side of a toilet or a nearby wall. This device is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to add a common toilet in a bidet, as it provides a stream used by the user water to clean the genital area instead of toilet paper.

Bidets have been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the body after using the toilet. A typical bidets consists of a small device in or near the toilet bowl that takes a gentle stream of water when desired. A hand bidet, secondly, is completely external and can easily be connected to flush tank intake.

Benefits of using a hand held bidet

  1. Saves water: 

Bidets greatly reduce the amount of water used in flushing wipes and toilet papers. In some cases, you can take a large dump and use significant amounts of toilet paper and wipes – thank you McDonalds. Obviously this would require several flushes to send these werewolves and vampires to the underground. If that isn’t torture enough, just think of the billions of gallons of water used to create toilet paper per year – almost 470 billion gallons. With a bidet, you will only use a sufficient amount of water that will efficiently clean your butt.

  1. Prevent clogs and plumbing problems

A bidet reduces clogs in sewer lines and plumbing problems caused by toilet papers and baby wipes. Since a very small amount of toilet paper may be used, there is less that finds its way to the sewers and the Ninja Turtles can have a cleaner home. Also, if your home is not connected to the main drainage system, it won’t be much of a hustle emptying the septic tank. It also saves on the costs associated with hiring a plumber every time you experience problems and also saves the community at large when it comes to sewerage problems.

  1. Health benefits – more hygienic than toilet papers and wipes

Toilet papers or wipes don't decrease your chances of falling sick since one risks spreading germs to sensitive areas while wiping them. These germs may also be transferred to your hands if proper hygiene is not observed after visiting the toilet. Also, you may spread the germs to other people. Using a hand held bidet, one sprays water over the sensitive areas and greatly reduces the germs off these areas. You know that feeling after using the bathroom for No. 2 and then feel you need to take a shower right after? The hand-bidet is a shower, specifically designed for the butt - a design that has been used and perfected for hundreds of years. Bidets also help older people to maintain personal hygiene independently, without the help of caregivers. Bidets are also useful to children who are learning to use the bathroom since they would love the idea of spraying their butts with water. It makes teaching hygiene to children a lot more engaging.

  1. Reduces paper usage greatly

Did you know that America uses more than 17.3 billion rolls of toilet paper per year – this translates to roughly 23.6 rolls per person.  Approximately 21 million trees have to be cut down and pulped to meet this growing demand for toilet paper. The use of recycled toilet paper does not help either since a great amount of trees will still be destroyed. If the use of bidets can be adopted, these figures will greatly reduce and our trees will be conserved.

  1. Save yourself money

Depending on the model of the bidet and the size of your family, you can save a lot of money that you would have used to buy toilet papers and wipes in the long run. One can still use a very small amount of toilet paper when drying off after cleaning but this will be a very small fraction of the amount you would have used in case you purchased wipes and toilet papers for let’s say a whole year.

Numerous other benefits of hand held bidets over toilet papers and wipes do exist. Let’s use the hand held bidet and discover the innumerable benefits that come with its usage.