Toilet paper is an essential part of our daily lives. Did you know that every day, the average person uses 57 sheets of toilet paper? Over the course of the year, that comes out to 20,805 sheets of TP, the equivalent of 41 500-sheet rolls! This produces enough cardboard tubes to fuel an amazing variety of home craft projects. Over a person’s lifetime, roughly 384 trees will be chopped down and pulped for the sake of a single individual’s lifetime bathroom supply of two-ply. And while the amount of trees felled for this purpose has led a number of people to suggest greener alternatives like water and cloth, few have been particularly keen on using a wiping material you have to keep and wash, instead of flush away.
On the bright side, toilet paper is very biodegradable – it must be to avoid clogging up a city’s sewer system. It’s hard to imagine how scientists managed to reach that perfect balance of softness and toughness while still making it dissolve almost instantly in water; the result is toilet paper whose qualities we know and love today.
This infographic shows you 15 other things you may not have known about this bathroom necessity: