Toilet paper is one of the most used items in bathrooms around the country, but it isn’t the most planet-friendly product. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 8 best eco-friendly toilet paper brands to help keep both you and the planet happy.
Many people have changed their paper consumption habits to do their bit for the environment including recycling things like newspaper and cardboard or opting to receive statements and invoices digitally as opposed to printed. While these are great ways to make your habits more environmentally friendly, an area often overlooked is the bathroom — specifically toilet paper consumption.
Why Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper is Important
By buying eco-friendly toilet paper, you can help reduce the huge amount of damage that is done to indigenous people, wildlife, and the environment that occurs as a result of conventional toilet paper production. Here’s how conventional toilet paper is made:
- Trees are cut down, the majority of which come from old growth forests.
- The bark is then stripped off and the trees are passed through machines to chip them into small pieces.
- These chips are added into a giant pressure cooker which cooks them with chemicals for a few hours to create a pulp.
- The pulp is washed and bleached (usually with chlorine) until the color is completely removed, then mixed with water and sprayed onto mesh screens to drain the water.
- The paper is scraped off the screens and rolled, then passed through a machine to be cut into strips and make the perforated squares.
- The individual rolls are cut from the large one and then packaged before being shipped out.
Not only does this process require heavy water usage, but the chemicals used can also end up polluting local water sources. According to the NRDC, the US’s favorite pulp for toilet paper comes directly from the Canadian boreal forest, with more than 28 million acres being logged between 1996 and 2015. Cutting down trees, especially in such quantities, releases untold amounts of carbon back into the atmosphere.
Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper Brands
Eco friendly toilet papers on the market are often made using either recycled paper or bamboo. Many have chosen bamboo because it’s one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, and requires less water than hardwood trees. In addition, bamboo fibers are both soft and strong, which is exactly what toilet paper should be! What’s important to keep in mind, however, is that bamboo often has long transport routes in order to reach its end destination. A good eco-friendly toilet paper will be made using ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
Reel: Tree-Free TP
This plastic-free company offers 3 ply eco-friendly toilet paper made from FSC-certified bamboo grown in Southwestern China. These rolls are septic safe and you don’t need to worry about any inks, dyes or BPAs. Reel is on a mission to provide access to clean toilets for those who need them through their partnership with SOIL and they want to help reduce Americans’ carbon footprint at the same time. You can find them in Target, on Amazon** or the Reel website.
Who Gives a Crap:
A Certified B Corp, Who Gives a Crap is yet another great eco-friendly toilet paper brand. They donate 50% of profits to help ensure people around the world have access to clean water and toilets. You have a choice between septic-safe toilet paper made from recycled paper, or a premium bamboo roll from sustainable sources. None of their products use inks, dyes, or scents, and their packaging is plastic-free. On top of that, they are proud to offer carbon neutral shipping. For purchasing, head on over to the Who Gives a Crap website.
Bim Bam Boo: Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper for Sensitive Skin
Bim Bam Boo’s biggest claim to fame is the fact that each box of their toilet paper saves 32lbs of trees from getting flushed! This plastic-free company uses 100% FSC certified bamboo and their rolls are free of BPA, chlorine-bleach, glues and formaldehyde. Their bamboo rolls are also septic safe and safe for sensitive skin! Purchase them through the Bim Bam Boo website or find them on Amazon**
Seventh Generation: Locally Produced Recycled Toilet Paper
Seventh Generation is a Certified B-Corp that’s working towards a more sustainable future. While they still use (mostly recycled) plastic packaging, they’re working on making it much more sustainable by 2025. Their septic tank safe eco-friendly toilet paper is made of 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified recycled paper from North America, with a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled fiber, and is whitened without the use chlorine bleach. It’s manufactured in North America with no added fragrances or dyes. Head to your local grocery store or add it to your cart on Amazon**.
Betterway: Climate Neutral Certified Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper
This American company was searching for a “better way” to make bathroom habits sustainable, which is why they make their eco friendly toilet paper rolls out of 100% FSC certified bamboo. On top of their plastic-free packaging, they are Climate neutral certified and offer carbon neutral shipping in the continental USA. Find their ink-, dye-, and scent-free toilet paper on Amazon** or the Betterway website.
The Cheeky Panda: Carbon Balanced Toilet Paper
The Cheeky Panda is another eco-friendly toilet paper brand using bamboo as an alternative to virgin wood pulp. The Cheeky Panda offers 3 ply rolls made from 100% FSC certified bamboo. Their products are hypoallergenic, and they don’t use dyes, fragrances or chemicals. This company uses sustainable packaging and is a carbon-balanced company. They are also part of the Earth, Ocean & People initiative, which donates to various environmental charities. You can find these toilet rolls on The Cheeky Panda website, or in online marketplaces like Amazon**.
Pure Planet: Animal Prints
If you’re looking for a child and eco-friendly toilet paper brand, Pure Planet is a great option. Each of their rolls features a different marine animal on them, which makes buying sustainably even more fun. They use ethically and sustainably sourced bamboo for their rolls, making it septic safe and a much better option than conventional toilet paper. You can shop the Pure Planet website, or consider adding them to your Amazon** cart.
Caboo: Bamboo and Sugar Cane
This eco-friendly toilet paper brand made the list because it can be found in many retail partners across the country – no need to add unnecessary shipping if you can pick it up on your weekly grocery shop. Not only that, but Caboo toilet paper is made from a combination of bamboo and sugar cane pulp. It’s BPA and fragrance free, as well as non-GMO certified. Check out the list of retail partners on the Caboo website, so you can shop in store. Otherwise, you can add it to your cart on Amazon**.
The Problem With Toilet Paper
A study from 2011 showed that there can be traces of BPA in recycled fibers, which is why the best eco-friendly toilet paper brands out there explicitly state they are BPA-free. If you’re wondering how BPA gets into toilet paper, it often comes from thermal paper (commonly used for receipts). In addition, the use of chemicals in toilet paper production still exists in the toilet paper itself. This is problematic because those same chemicals come in contact with our bodies and can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Buying eco-friendly toilet paper is better for both personal and planetary health!
By the way, buying eco-friendly toilet paper is great for the environment, but what if you didn’t use toilet paper at all? Sound crazy? Think again:** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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