Recently an Australian newspaper printed several blank pages to help readers who may have run out of toilet paper.
Would it be safe to flush pieces of newspaper down the toilet?
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No, that would not be safe. If you want to use something other than regular tissue (like paper towels), you would need to dispose of it in the wastebasket.
Toilet paper is made to fall apart quickly when it gets wet and doesn't contain any chemicals that would harm a septic system or a city's sewer treatment. Newspaper isn't the strongest paper, but it doesn't fall apart as easily and the ink and paper itself might contain harmful chemicals.
Newspaper is actually one of the worst types of paper materials to use for flushing. One of the things not mentioned is the gummyness of newspaper. When newspaper gets wet it sticks to more newspaper really well. So not only does it not break apart but it easily builds. Basically if you have any sort of weak spot in your plumbing system the newspaper will quickly accumulate and build until it is blocked.
Now compare this to regular "printer paper" and your stock white paper will take way way longer than TP to break down... But it will in general float when wet better and it will not stick to other paper as much (it still will).
An alternative is to either throw the newspaper away or use leaves - which you need to throw away too. Bidets are a thing so people low on TP can easily use something to get the bulk and then shower after.
I am living in a country where it was pretty much a normal practice some 30 years ago. Communist party press was issued in excessive numbers and everyone was forced to subscribe, so the old issues accumulated everywhere. In contrast, toilet papper was not always that much abundant and sometimes was even worse than a newspaper.
Flushing the toilet paper down the pipe came as a surprise for a lot of people, everyone used trash bins. Few people tried the same with newspapers and results were invariably bad.
Here's something you can try sometime. Take some toilet paper and put it into the bowl. Let it sit for a while. What is its consistency? It's most likely mush after an hour or two. Take a plunger and stir it after it's sat. It should shed like crazy.
Toilet paper is designed to break down in water. That's important, because any other kind of paper is not designed to do that. Regular paper will eventually break down, but we're talking days or weeks, not minutes. This is why many places warn you to not flush things like paper towels. A paper towel (which you explicitly do not want to break down in water) can cause a clog. And the last thing you want is to flush a load with normal paper, only to have the drain clog and all that stuff is left sitting there. Flush again and it overflows. No other kind of paper is toilet safe. Expect to hire a plumber to clean your drain lines if you try.