Friday, 8 August 2014

On a Roll


With the virtues of the toilet recently receiving well due promotion on these pages, I reckon it’s about time to discuss that most important of accessories that go along with it. The thing you will never want to get caught short of. Toilet paper.
Clearly one of humanity’s most important inventions, toilet paper is problematic nevertheless. You see, it is made of trees. And isn’t it a shame to chop down those mighty trees that took years to grow just so we could have something to wipe our arse with? I particularly resent toilet papers that feel as thick as a book; using them, which I end up doing with while visiting certain premises, makes me feel as if a library has been destroyed for the sake of my ass.
Which is exactly why we were into buying toilet paper made of recycled paper. Or so we thought, until this recent exposure on ABC’s wonderful and informative The Checkout opened our eyes. We checked out the fine letters on our toilet paper of choice and discovered, to our horror, that this green marketed product is made “with” recycled paper. Also, in contrast to The Checkout’s advice, it complies with the lesser PEFC certification. We wanted to wipe better.
Thus we went on a mission to the supermarkets we prefer to shop at, Costco and Aldi. And now I am here to tell you of our findings.

Costco:
We found Costco to sell three types of toilet paper as well as three types of corresponding paper kitchen rolls. The cheapest, Kirkland home-branded ones, offer no environmental information. The next one in price has the PEFC emblem. At the top of the line, sporting the coveted FSC emblem, stands Kleenex together with a promise of including fast growing bamboo in their paper. Note the FSC standard Kleenex complies with is of the “Mix” level, which is the lowest of the three FSC available certifications. Yet it is the best on offer at Costco.
We bought the Kleenex toilet people and kitchen rolls from Costco, which means that we are now well prepared for the zombie apocalypse. The interesting note to make about the Kleenex toilet paper is that its rolls are much bigger than normal: they last and last. In other words, perhaps they are not as costly as they seem.

Aldi:
The Aldi story is similar to Costco’s. The toilet paper department offers two brands, Aldi’s own and Kleenex, both of which comply with FSC Mix. Nice of Aldi to display its German credentials there - there were no environmentally crappy papers to be found!
In the kitchen roll department, however, the two brands on offer at Aldi are both of PEFC compliance. However, I could not avoid noting the $1 Aldi tissue paper boxes sport the FSC Mix standard, too – wow!

So there you go. Good hunting on your environmental toilet paper quest. Let us know if you manage to locate something better than our FSC Mix.


Image by emdot, Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) licence

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