We often flush toilet paper after wiping. Because along with our fecal matters, it is also natural to dispose of what we use to do our ‘business’. But the question is, is it okay to flush toilet paper down the loo?
Yes, it is. Flushing toilet paper is safer and more convenient than throwing it away in the bin. The item itself is organic and biodegradable, so it melts right away in the water and does not clog. In this way, it helps to keep the bathroom cleaner.
In this article, we will let you know about the toilet paper disposal rules. In addition, you will get to know about countries where bog rolls down the pipe is a big NO.
Is it bad to flush paper?
The answer depends on what type of paper you are talking about. Anything that has ‘paper’ in the name or looks like paper may not be always flushable down the loo.
Among various types of paper, toilet paper is the safest thing to flush down the toilet. It is made from short cellulose fibers, disintegrates quickly, and does not clog the sewer line. However, other types of paper are potential cloggers.
Sometimes paper towels, facial tissues, flushable wipes, kitchen napkins can be used as toilet paper alternatives. Please keep in mind that they are built with heavier fibers.
They are more likely to absorb water than to be dissolved in water. So if you flush them, they will sit in the pipe and slow everything up. Likewise, newspapers also block waterflow of the toilet pipe.
Though flushable wipes may dissolve faster than non-flushable wipes, but they are not as fast as toilet paper. Hence, don’t dispose them in the toilet hole.
Flushing toilet paper is not bad if done correctly. If you throw large wads of toilet paper in the porcelin hole, it will make flushing difficult. Use a plunger or call a plumber if you clog your toilet with toilet paper alternatives.
Why can you not flush toilet paper?
You cannot flush toilet paper if the toilet pipe diameter is small. With that said, it would be hard for the human waste to pass down, let alone the toilet paper!
Buildings with years-old infrastructure cannot handle flushing toilet paper, as it can cause plumbing disasters. The case is same for some countries too.
If you are staying in a country with strict toilet rules or at an old building, you cannot flush toilet paper.
Again, if your loo gets clogged with wads of toilet paper, you cannot flush them either. You need to pull out those stuck pieces.
What happens when you flush toilet paper?
When you flushes toilet paper, it dissolves on its own. It then becomes a biodegradable pulp and goes to the wastewater treatment plant or septic tank.
During the journey to the treatment plant, it naturally breaks down and makes the waste processing easier. If the toilet paper goes to a septic tank, it dissolves partially before going there. The rest of the dissolvement happens in the septic tank.
During the process, among the disposed bog rolls, 95% of it is digested by bacteria. A small portion (5%) contributes to activated sludge.
The sewage treatment plants contains aerobic bacteria and the septic tank containss anaerobic bacteria. Unfortunately, these naturally growing bacteria are harmful for the environment. They release carbon dioxide or methane as their byproduct while decomposing bog rolls.
The remaining toilet paper at the end of the treatment process hardens with poop. This solid waste is dewatered at first and then is thrown to landfills. Sometimes it may end up in farmer’s field as a crop fertilizer or in water.
Where can you not flush toilet paper?
In some countries, disposing toilet paper down the loo is strictly prohibited. You may have to pay a good amount of fine if you break the rule.
In the US and UK, the sewage system is wide enough to accept toilet paper. Also, their toilet paper is designed to dissolve in a few seconds. If you are in the US or UK, nobody will restrict you from flushing the toilet paper.
Some European countries can’t handle bog rolls going down the loo. Their waste pipes are skinny. And bog rolls along with human fecal matters cause the toilet to clog and overflow.
Outside Europe, some other countries also prefer disposing toilet paper in the waste bin.
Apart from these countries, some older countries use waste bins to dispose of toilet paper. Because their drain pipes are older too, and narrow.
Countries like France, Spain, Russia, South Africa have mixed toilet regulations. Therefore, while staying in those countries, don’t flush bog rolls unless you are told to do so.
Can we throw toilet paper in toilet?
Of course, we can. Toilet paper is disposable in the toilet. This item is made of short and softer fibers. It easily dissolves in water and causes no blockage in the sewerage system. However, too much toilet paper can block the water flow down there.
Do you flush the toilet paper after wiping?
Yes, you can do it. A general rule of bathroom use is to flush the toilet after wiping, not before. Doing this will save water. However, exceptions exist. Sometimes shits may be too big or the drain pipe may be narrower. In that case, you may need to flush before wiping to unclog. After that, wipe and flush again to dispose of the toilet paper.
Where do you throw the toilet paper after use?
You can either dispose of the toilet paper in the toilet or throw it in the waste bin inside the bathroom. Compared to throwing it dry, flushing it down the toilet is the most convenient. Throwing it in the waste bin is also effective. But make sure to place the lid tightly so that odor does not come out.
Is it better not to flush toilet paper?
Actually flushing toilet paper is better than tossing it in the trash can. Both flushing and trashing of toilet paper release harmful gases, respectively carbon dioxide and methane, into the environment. Methane is deadlier than carbon dioxide. Moreover, toilet paper that ends up in landfills takes more time to break down and decompose. Hence, toilet paper is better to flush than to trash.
Does hot water dissolve toilet paper?
Yes, it does. Compared to normal or cold water, hot water dissolves toilet paper more quicker. If your toilet gets blocked with lots of toilet paper, unclog it with hot water and any liquid soap.
After knowing whether it is okay to flush toilet paper or not, hopefully, you will use this item with caution and care. When you use public facilities or travel abroad, you must check for the toilet rules and act accordingly.
In terms of public facilities, bring your own toilet paper since they may lack it. And for other countries, remember that any wrong step in using the toilet will put your reputation at stake too.
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