The PlantPaper Blog

Septic Safety Test for Toilet Paper.

Tree-free toilet paper eases the burden on our planet’s waterways and ecosystems, but how does it fare in septic systems? While no two septic systems are exactly alike, there’s a simple test recommended by plumbing experts that helps determine just how well a given brand of toilet paper will break down in the flushing process.

The Septic Safety Test: How To Do it at Home.

Find a medium-sized glass jar and fill it with 3/4 tap water. Add 6-8 sheets of toilet paper. Seal the jar and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds. If, after shaking, the paper has broken down fully, it is considered to be safe for most any well-maintained septic tank or plumbing system.

We tested four major brands for septic safety. Here are the results.

 4 sheets of each brand folded above.

Shake each jar vigorously for 15 secs.
What should happen to toilet paper as it breaks down:
Conventional paper made with heavy duty adhesives and wet strength additives results in toilet paper that doesn’t break down all the way. Larger clumps clog up pipes over time, resulting in backups and flooding. PlantPaper breaks down fully into fine pieces that move easily even through narrower pipes.

 1 Hour after shaking.


Quilted Northern and Charmin Ultra didn't break down at all. 2-ply Angel Soft broke down. PlantPaper broke down quickly and completely.

But PlantPaper feels so thick. How could it break down so easily?

It’s true–PlantPaper is thicker than any other brand on the market, tree-free and otherwise. That’s because we start with a heavier ply (and a bigger sheet size). But the number of plys isn’t the driving factor in how well a toilet paper will break down in a septic safety system. It’s much more dependent on the way the fibers are processed, and additives used-especially those used to increase wet strength. (That’s why paper towel doesn’t break down in toilets–because it’s designed to absorb huge amounts of water without degrading.) Fortunately, PlantPaper is both incredibly strong AND breaks down easily. For those looking for a softer, stronger, smarter toilet paper who want to be sure their toilet paper won’t wreck havoc on their plumbing, PlantPaper is the clear choice.

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