Toilet Paper vs Flushable Wipes vs Moist Tissue: What’s the Difference?

Do you wipe responsibly? Nowadays, there are quite a few options to choose from: the classic toilet paper, the misleading “flushable” wipe, and the new eco kid on the block Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue. The difference lies within the paper (or lack thereof). It impacts more than your bathroom experience, but our planet too.

We’re drilling down the different options available so you can wipe responsibly and choose the product that’s best for your body and the environment.

Toilet Paper

The modern toilet paper was invented in the mid-19th century. It’s simple, reliable, and convenient. Toilet paper comes in various thickness and textures, but all are made from paper and designed to work well with our toilet systems and septic tanks.

Pros

  • You can easily find toilet paper at your local store.
  • It biodegrades quickly and efficiently as it’s made from 100% paper.
  • Toilet paper doesn’t damage our pipelines, sewage systems, and water treatment centers.

Cons

  • Some toilet paper users may not find the experience as fresh after #2, as the paper texture makes the cleaning process a little more cumbersome.
  • In order to achieve that thoroughly clean and fresh feeling, users may end up using quite a bit more material than with other products.
  • To get the white color, some toilet paper is chlorine bleached, a process that produces the harmful chemical byproduct, dioxin.

So-called “Flushable” Wipes

One “solution” to this issue of freshness is wet wipes, also known as flushable wipes. The name “wet wipes” tells you everything. Wet wipes, often labeled as flushable, are typically dampened cloths. The cloths can be made from anything! Though you may be leaving the restroom feeling more fresh, at what cost?

Pros

  • Flushable wipes are sturdier than toilet paper. The moisture helps the cleaning process by more effectively removing anything unwanted, giving you a fresher toilet experience.

Cons

  • Plastic is a common material found in these ‘flushable’ wipes. Plastic wipes release microplastics into our waterways, our food systems, and eventually can enter our bodies. This is because plastic never decomposes, it only shrinks into smaller pieces of plastic.
  • The false marketing claims of flushability have been continuously criticized and debunked with a series of lawsuits and third-party, non-profit testing. In fact, only a mere 13% of wipes labeled flushable disintegrated after an one-hour test in conditions that are much more favorable than in real life sewage systems.
  • Wet wipes are a leading contributor to fatbergs, which clog pipelines and sewage systems. What is a fatberg? Simply put, fatbergs are non-biodegradable solid matters, typically made of unwanted materials being flushed. They are made-up of grease, period products, and falsely marketed flushable wipes collecting in our sewage pipes. These are the same sewage pipes that lead to our water treatment facilities to give us clean water everyday.

Safe to Flush Moist Tissues

Moist tissues are the eco-friendly alternative to “flushable” wipes. They’re the best of both worlds: leaving you feeling as fresh as wet wipes while flushing as safely as toilet paper. Natracare developed the Safe to Flush Moist Tissues in response to the growing concern of fatbergs and clogged sewage systems impacting our public health and water treatment centers. Not to mention the marine plastic pollution crisis contributed to by irresponsible flushing.

Pros

  • Made with 100% paper infused with an organic and natural formula, Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissues help you leave your bathroom experience feeling fresh and fully clean. As with wet wipes, the moist tissue helps with the cleaning process after you poo or on your period.
  • They are truly flushable – Safe to Flush were the first to pass the Water UK’s new rigorous flushability test and are Fine to Flush certified to back it up!
  • Since Natracare’s Moist tissues flushes like toilet paper (because it is paper!), they won’t lead to fatbergs and clogged sewage pipes.
  • There is no plastic in Natracare’s Moist Tissue and therefore zero microplastics or microfibers entering our water systems when flushed!

Cons

  • Unfortunately there is currently no equivalent organization or testing process in the United States. Yet no matter what country you flush in, our moist tissues will biodegrade in water since they are only paper and not a mix of cotton and plastic.
  • We recognize Natracare’s wipes are not widely available…yet!

To learn more and see where they are available, check out Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue page. Cheers to clean bottoms and a greener world for everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Toilet Paper vs Flushable Wipes vs Moist Tissue: What’s the Difference?

  1. Margaret Bickerton said:

    I wrote to you a few weeks ago to order Safe to Flush toilet wipes. At that time you said they would be back in in around 5 days. Still no sign of them in stock. Do you know when or where I can order them for delivery?