Reel 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper
Did you know that there's a high probability that your toilet paper is made of wood pulp - and if you live in North America, chances are these wood pulp come from boreal forest of Canada, which lost 28 million acres that's roughly the size of the state of Ohio between 1996 and 2015?
Not only is this forest integral to migratory birds in North America but also this Canadian boreal region, removes carbon dioxide equivalent to the annual emissions of 24 million passenger vehicles. (Joshua Axelrod, “Pandora’s Box: Clearcutting in the Canadian Boreal Unleashes Millions of Tons of Previously Uncounted Carbon Dioxide Emissions,” NRDC, 2018, )
That means mere seconds of heavenly soft toilet paper use translates to forest degradation, carbon emissions, species loss, and water pollution.
After some searches in the Google machine, I ran into the a handful of bamboo and recycled toilet paper brands. Admittedly, I do prefer soft toilet paper -however, after reading about the impact of the toilet paper industry to the environment, I decided to make a conscious decision to switch to a more sustainable alternative.
Enter Reel toilet paper. At the time of research, the brand offered $9.99 for the first box of 24 rolls and couldn't resist a good deal.
Reel is made of 100% bamboo toilet paper. Bamboo, unlike boeral forest trees, can grow 3ft in just 24 hours and uses significantly less water than hardwood trees.
I received my box within the week after my purchase and I was pleasantly surprised that the package was plastic free. Each roll is wrapped in a thin sheet of paper. I suppose the purpose is to protect the integrity and keep the rolls clean.
Reel has 3-ply or layers of toilet paper - so the sheets are strong with enough softness that I like. If I were to use a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give Reel 5 on strength and 4 on softness - Compared to Charmin' Ultra Soft, which I rate 3 on strength and 5 on softness.
Out of curiousity, I changed the toilet papers in the bathrooms without telling family members about the switcheroo and no one noticed until I asked for feedbacks.
Reel's box of 24 costs $29.99 with free shipping (as of time of writing, the company has an on-going promotion of $9.99 for your first box!). This is slightly more expensive to similar toilet papers in the market like Charmin' Ultra Strong 24 rolls priced at $23.99.
Reel donates single-use biodegradable toilet for every roll purchased. They claim to have started this in Kenya and that these toilets neutralize bacteria so waste can be turned into valuable fertilizer.
My verdict - give it a try. Product is great with sustainable and plastic-free packaging. Tag price is a little more than equivalent toilet paper in the market but long term price on the environment seems to be worth it!
You can purchase Reel Toilet Paper in their website at reelpaper.com
Interested to learn more on the Issue with Tissue? Check out Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) February 2019 report The Issue With Tissue: How Americans Are Flushing Our Forests Down the Toilet.