Maybe a year or two before the pandemic struck, I found an advertisement somewhere promoting a toilet paper made from bamboo instead of wood fiber. The argument was that bamboo grows incredibly fast, producing much more material to be used for paper products than trees which take decades to grow big. I’ve seen the effects of the timber industry, so I thought I’d give the product a try. Plus, the idea of toilet paper automatically showing up at my front door every two months sounded appealing.
The toilet paper I received was not great. It was uncomfortable and so thin I could see through it. However, the fact I no longer needed to go to the store to buy toilet paper had me keep my subscription and I am glad I did. Soon the pandemic hit and toilet paper was no where to be found in stores. Even better, the paper did not take long to greatly improve in quality. I never complained, but the company must have acted on feedback they received. Now its quality is on the same level as wood-based toilet paper. My subscription has continued ever since.
The company offering the bamboo toilet paper is called Reel. Since launching as a small start up, they’ve expanded their product line to offer paper towels and tissues. When they released their paper towels I bought a box, which just like the first rolls of toilet paper were just okay. Not hugely impressive. However, I am sure Reel has used the feedback they’ve received to make some improvements so I’ll have to try them again in the future.
When purchasing tissues at the grocery store recently, I found another company producing bamboo paper products: Caboo. After using a couple boxes of their tissues I am an enthusiastic customer. These are better than wood-based tissues in every way. They are softer, just as absorbent, no less structurally strong, and best of all: they don’t emit a cloud of paper dust from the box each time you yank a new tissue out! That last quality alone is more than enough reason to never buy another box of non-bamboo-based tissues. I’ve put in an order for their wet wipes and paper towels, so I will soon be able to report back regarding the quality of those as well.
While I am under no illusion that my use of bamboo toilet paper helps the world in a significant way, I find these products interesting, innovative, and very convenient. I am curious to see what other products replace their source material with a more sustainable material over the coming years as well as how many other products are able to convince people to open a subscription.