Of tissue products and trees


We make decisions that impact our world on a daily basis, even when we buy tissue. The Natural Resources Defense Council recently analyzed tissue products produced by various companies. The following factors where considered: percent recycled, percent post-consumer, and the bleaching process used.

Percent post-consumer refers to the percentage of fibers “recovered from paper that was previously used by consumers and would otherwise have been dumped into a landfill or an incinerator.” The bleaching process involved in creating of the tissue product varies by the amount of chlorine used: processed chlorine-free (PCF) and elemental chlorine-free (ECF). Interestingly, none of the products were totally chlorine-free.

From this analysis,NRDC developed aShopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products, which recommends the tissue products to buy and the ones to AVOID.

The bottom line:

  • AVOID Kleenex, Puffs facial tissue
  • AVOID Charmin, Cottonelle toilet paper
  • AVOID Bounty, Viva paper towels
  • AVOID Bounty, Kleenex napkins

To learn which tissue products NRDC found acceptable, visit the Shopper’s Guide. Is it worth it? According to NRDC:

If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues …one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper .... one roll of virgin fiber paper towels …. one package of virgin fiber napkins … 

We could save a total of 2,130,900 trees. That’s a lot of trees.