Different households will naturally use different amounts of toilet paper according to the number of people involved, the type of toilet paper they use, and how much time they spend at home, so these figures can’t be accurate for everyone. For the purpose of this blog, we’re looking at averages across the UK.

How much toilet paper is used per year? 

On average, a person uses eight to nine sheets of toilet paper every time they go to the loo. Assuming between 4 and 10 visits each day, we each use an average of 56 sheets a day. Multiplied across the year, this adds up to nearly 21,000 sheets! 

Of course, different brands put a different number of sheets on each roll, and some use bigger or smaller sheets than others. However, 21,000 sheets is equal to around 100 rolls per year per person – so a household of three or four people might need a new roll every single day of the year!

How much toilet paper do you use in a lifetime?

If one person can use as much as 100 rolls of toilet paper in a year, how might that stack up over a lifetime? Well, if we take a lifetime to be around 80 years, one person might use 8,000 toilet rolls over that time. However, this isn’t strictly accurate. Even allowing for variations from the average usage, there are reasons why a person might use more than this amount. 

Young children may use more toilet paper than they really need, which can bump up figures, and those experiencing incontinence will likely need to go to the loo more often, therefore using more paper. Additionally, toilet paper can be used for other things aside from the intended usage, such as blowing your nose, cleaning glasses and mirrors, and mopping up spillages.

How much toilet paper should you use?

So, now you know how much toilet paper people generally use in the UK. But should you be using that much? How much toilet paper you actually need varies from person to person and visit to visit, but if you’re looking to limit your usage, one option is to use fewer sheets each time you go to the loo.

So let’s say you use the average amount we outlined earlier. How many rolls would you need to buy? Well, allowing for seven visits to the loo a day, using eight sheets of paper each time, that’s 56 sheets of paper a day. How many rolls that equals exactly will depend on the brand of toilet paper you buy, but on average a regular loo roll will have around 200 sheets.

All you need to do to find out how many rolls you’ll need for six weeks, for example, is to multiply your number of sheets per day by the number of people using the loo roll. Then times this by the number of days you’ll need it for, and then divide by 200. For example, a house of three will need roughly 168 sheets per day. Six weeks is about 42 days, so 168 multiplied by 42 is 7056. Then divide this by 200 to get the rough number of rolls you’ll need – 35.28.

Of course, there isn’t a set number of sheets per day, or rolls per year, that you should be aiming for, because everyone’s needs are different. As with anything, using less is better for the environment, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp and use less than you need. It’s always best to buy a little more than you think you’ll need to cover you in case of emergencies.

Is toilet paper sustainable?

You might think that toilet paper is always sustainable, since it’s made from a natural resource – and that’s half right. Although some toilet paper manufacturers use bleaches that can be harmful, most brands limit this. Generally speaking, the threat to the environment comes in the form of the packaging your toilet roll comes in.

Plastic packaging is harmful to the planet as it breaks down very slowly, releasing microplastics into the ecosystem. When these microplastics reach the oceans, they can harm marine life. 

Here at Oceans Plastic Free, all of our toilet rolls come in 100% plastic-free packaging, so you can be sure you won’t be polluting the environment when you recycle the paper wrapper. Our production process uses sustainable procedures to limit our impact on the environment as much as possible.