The origin of China toilet paper

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Toilet Paper | 0 comments

Toilet paper is a staple in every household, but have you ever wondered where it originated from? In this article, we will explore the history of toilet paper in China and how it has evolved over time.

The Early Days of Toilet Paper in China

The First Recorded Use of Toilet Paper

The use of toilet paper can be traced back to ancient China, where it was first recorded in the 6th century AD. The Chinese emperor at the time, Yangdi, is said to have used 15,000 sheets of toilet paper per year for his personal hygiene.

The Material Used for Toilet Paper

The first toilet paper in China was made from a variety of materials, including rice straw, hemp, and bamboo. These materials were readily available and were used to create a soft, absorbent paper that could be used for personal hygiene.

The Production Process

The production process for toilet paper in ancient China was labor-intensive and time-consuming. The materials were first boiled and then beaten into a pulp. The pulp was then spread out on a flat surface and left to dry. Once dry, the paper was cut into squares and used for personal hygiene.

The Evolution of Toilet Paper in China

The Introduction of Commercial Toilet Paper

In the 14th century, commercial toilet paper was introduced in China. This was a significant development as it made toilet paper more accessible to the general public. The commercial toilet paper was made from a combination of rice straw and mulberry bark, which made it softer and more absorbent.

The Use of Toilet Paper in Public Restrooms

In the 16th century, the use of toilet paper in public restrooms became more widespread in China. This was due to the increasing popularity of public bathhouses, where toilet paper was provided for patrons to use.

The Introduction of Modern Toilet Paper

In the 19th century, modern toilet paper was introduced in China. This was made from wood pulp, which made it softer and more comfortable to use. The production process also became more efficient, making toilet paper more affordable for the general public.

The Role of China in the Global Toilet Paper Industry

China's Dominance in the Global Toilet Paper Market

Today, China is the world's largest producer and consumer of toilet paper. In 2019, China produced over 30 million tons of toilet paper, accounting for 29% of the global production. This is due to the country's large population and the high demand for toilet paper.

The Impact of China's Toilet Paper Industry on the Environment

The rapid growth of China's toilet paper industry has had a significant impact on the environment. The production of toilet paper requires a large amount of wood pulp, which has led to deforestation in China. This has resulted in the loss of natural habitats and has contributed to climate change.

Efforts to Promote Sustainable Toilet Paper Production in China

In recent years, there has been a push for more sustainable toilet paper production in China. The Chinese government has implemented policies to promote the use of recycled materials in toilet paper production. Some companies have also started using alternative materials such as bamboo and wheat straw to reduce their impact on the environment.

The Future of Toilet Paper in China

The Rise of Smart Toilets

With the advancement of technology, smart toilets have become increasingly popular in China. These toilets come equipped with features such as heated seats, bidets, and even music players. Some smart toilets also have built-in sensors that can detect when the user is finished and automatically dispense toilet paper.

The Shift Towards Online Sales

In recent years, there has been a shift towards online sales of toilet paper in China. This is due to the convenience and competitive pricing offered by online retailers. This trend is expected to continue as more consumers in China turn to e-commerce for their daily needs.


Toilet paper has come a long way since its first recorded use in ancient China. From its humble beginnings made from rice straw to the modern, soft and absorbent toilet paper we know today, it has become an essential part of our daily lives. As China continues to play a significant role in the global toilet paper industry, efforts towards sustainable production and technological advancements will shape the future of toilet paper in the country.



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