TP Talk: Cheaper is Sometimes Better

Fernando Pacheco
February 10, 2017

It’s an item we use on a daily basis and yet it’s seldom mentioned in conversation. Toilet paper, or as many discreetly refer to as “TP,” has evolved over the centuries. Current manufactures are challenged with creating a product that offers comfort without clogging sewer systems.

In the mindset of “expensive = better,” a premium roll of tissues boasts a softer surface and sometimes a scent is even added to enhance the restroom experience. Are these quilted, fragrant squares actually better for your derriere? Here are some things that may have you reaching for a cheaper brand:

Irritation: Scented toilet paper may have chemicals that you can be allergic to, which may cause itching or irritation.
Infection: As we wipe, soft TP can crumble. Pieces of paper mixed with waste are then left behind which can increase risk of a urinary tract infection.
Environment: Softer toilet paper is typically made from old growth and virgin trees. The fibers from these trees are longer, which create a softer surface.  Using virgin wood does not support recycling practices and old growth trees contain rich communities of plants and animals that face harm with logging and deforestation.

Wet Wipes
In the ongoing effort for a more sanitary restroom experience, disposable wet wipes have made their way out of diaper changing kits and into our everyday lives. Although many are marketed as “flushable,” they take a lot longer to break down than toilet paper.  The wipes can form clusters after being flushed, where they get mixed up with fat and grease. The resulting mass, popularly called fatbergs, have grown to weights as heavy as 10 tons – clogging sewer lines in major cities, such as New York and London.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration reminds us that while disposable wipes are convenient, consumers need to know what’s in them, how to use them safely and how to report problems. To learn more, visit:

How you do your “business” is, well… your business. Just remember that you’ll be saving the home of a few woodland creatures if you reach for a rougher roll of toilet paper. Also by ditching the wet wipes, you could be saving a city worker a trip from going into a sewer system and pulling out a fatberg by hand.

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