With the changing lifestyle, there is also a change in the people’s food culture and food habits. Because of this, tissue paper once called the luxury of the rich, has become a necessity today.
In today’s world, there can be hardly anyone who is not familiar with tissue paper. It has become an item of daily use in today’s era. One advantage of its use is that it has also reduced the cost of water.
Can you recycle tissue paper? No, you cannot recycle tissue paper. Most tissue papers are already made of paper recycled many times already and are not further recycled. Also, the fibers of these papers are far too tiny and wouldn’t be able to produce proper pulp.
Usually, tissue paper is used to clean hands and mouth. It is worth mentioning that it is becoming indispensable for the food industry due to its lightweight and low cost.
Are you wondering why tissue papers are not recyclable? Or do you want to learn about the alternatives to tissue papers? Hang on tight; all your queries will be resolved by the end of this article.
What is tissue paper?
Tissue papers are a variety of paper that is soft and light in weight. Its rough texture makes it absorbent.
It is a relatively thin sheet of paper. Several tissues are produced from the same raw material in comparison to other types of sheets.
It is also available in various colors, textures, and sizes so that the consumers may find it attractive and appealing to use.
Tissue papers have been crafted specifically while keeping in mind that they should be comfortable to use.
How are tissue papers made?
The paper industry makes tissue papers in the process given below:
Step 1: Pulp and fibers are extracted from trees and pressed into sheets.
Step 2: Fibers are bleached with permitted chemicals that provide them with a bright white shade.
Step 3: The bleached fibers are then compactly packed and delivered to the tissue manufacturing units.
Step 4: Depending on which type of tissue one wants to make, distinct blends of fibers are added into a huge mixer with a large amount of water.
Conditioners are added to provide specific softness and elasticity
Step 5: To make wide sheets of tissues, the pulp fibers are then spread evenly on the roller machine.
Factories use heat, vacuum, and pressure to extract water. The water is used in the manufacturing process again.
Step 6: The sheets are rolled up into really big rolls and then transformed into facial tissue, bathroom tissue, and paper towels that can be used in our household.
Special ingredients like lotion might also be applied to the rolls.
Step 7: Finally, the facial tissue, bath tissue, and paper towels are packaged and shipped to your local store.
Why are tissue papers not recyclable?
While most paper products are recyclable, tissue papers cannot be reused or recycled for the following reasons:
1. Most of the tissue papers are already made from recycled paper. It means they have been already gone through recycling and are not suitable to be further recycled.
2. Tissues are made up of short fibers; trying to recycle them will make them even shorter and unfit for use again.
3. Tissue papers are considered to be a hygiene product. A hygiene product is only meant for single-use. It is not preferable for recycling in any way.
4. They usually contain food particles, dirt, dust, oil, grease, etc. Such materials are not accepted by the recycling centers and cannot be recycled.
What are the types of tissue papers?
In this section, we will learn about different types of tissue papers and their properties.
There are mainly three types of tissue papers.
Facial tissues are some of the lightest in weight among all types of tissue papers.
They have a rather smooth texture, are rich in quality, and are often treated with lotion, perfumes, and fragrances.
They are used as beauty products and body wipes.
They are made from virgin pulp and may have a little recycled paper content.
Paper towels are commonly used in households for drying, dusting, or wiping purposes.
They are very absorbent and disposable, which makes them a convenient option for cloth towels.
They are made from all kinds of fibers, virgin to recycled ones.
Offices, schools, restaurants, hotels and, cafes often make use of commercial paper towels.
They are available in various configurations and sizes.
Bathroom tissues are intended for usage in the bathroom and toilets to maintain personal hygiene.
Recycled fibers make toilet paper.
These tissue papers are one of the most consumed hygiene products. Nearly 10 million trees are chopped off to meet their global consumer demand.
Their specific design makes them decompose entirely in the sewage or drains when they are flushed off.
Why is tissue paper used as toilet roll?
Toilet roll is used in many developed countries of the world due to these countries’ weather conditions.
When people have to live amidst cold water like ice, it isn’t easy to use icy water. In these places, it is considered better to use toilet paper instead of water.
How many trees have to be cut to make tissue paper?
According to a 2014 survey, only 678 tons of tissue paper are used daily in Hong Kong, which means that only one part of the world needs 678 tons of tissue paper a day.
But did you know that about 17 trees have to be cut, and 20,000 gallons of water are needed to make one ton of tissue paper?
Most of the trees in the world are being cut to make tissue paper, whether with government consent or disagreement.
How important is it to stop using tissue paper?
Now you can calculate the number of trees and gallons of water used to make tissue papers in a year.
Do you think future generations will be able to benefit from this? Apart from this, the water contains chemicals.
The chemicals pollute the environment and affect one’s health severely.
What are the alternatives to tissue papers?
In the United States, more than 15 billion pounds of tissue are consumed by more than 50 pounds per person yearly.
Here are some alternatives and ways to reduce your tissue paper consumption:
1. Use a handkerchief to wipe your hands and face. It is washable, reusable, and easy to carry and store.
2. Buy and use toilet paper only made from 100 percent recycled fibers. It will result in lowering the demand for toilet papers made from virgin pulp.
3. You can explore tissue papers made from bamboo pulp.
4. Switch to sustainable brands of tissue papers that have a minimal impact on the environment.
5. Use toilet paper made from the Hemp plant. Its manufacturing procedure is sustainable and economical. In addition, it also regulates nutrients balance in the soil.
6. Make use of rags, cloth napkins, and towels whenever possible at home. You can wash them as well as reuse them for a long time. You can make them out of old clothes.
7. You can compost your tissues as the paper is 100 percent biodegradable.
8. Before composting them, ensure that they do not carry any chemicals, oils, or tacky body waste.
9. Try to dispose of your tissue paper waste responsibly and compost it if possible because most of them do not decompose in a landfill. Nothing degrades in a landfill.
While it might be hard to switch to other alternatives as it is hard to beat the affordable cost of tissue papers, we have to use it for environmental concerns.
Remember that the usage of toilet paper in a day is equivalent to chopping off almost 27,000 trees.
Interesting facts about tissue papers
Here are some amazing facts related to the tissue papers:
1. North America consumes tissues around three times the use in Europe.
2. The first record of bathroom tissue use was recorded in sixth-century China.
3. The Chinese government began mass-delivering bathroom tissue rolls by the fourteenth century.
4. Average estimations for the advanced bathroom tissue roll are 10 cm wide and 12 cm long.
Global interest for bathroom tissue devours around 30,000 trees every day or 10 million trees yearly.
5. The U.S. is ranked as the top country that devours tissue.
6. Its per capita average is almost three rolls each week. In addition, paper utilization has expanded incredibly alongside the developing populace adjusting toward the Western way of life.
In this article, we learned why tissue paper is not fit for recycling purposes. We also discussed alternatives and how we can reduce our consumption.
Recycling tissue paper is very tricky as it is a hygiene product. One should switch to other alternatives and reduce tissue paper consumption owing to environmental concerns.
Our small change in lifestyle can reduce the ever-increasing demand for tissue papers, and consequently, trees will not be cut frequently.