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If you’re looking at ways to use your consumer dollars to prevent deforestation, reduce the impacts climate change and protect biodiversity, choosing a better toilet paper may be one of the best places to start. Too often, toilet paper manufacturing leads to the destruction of valuable forests (more on these environmental impacts below).
But we can change that by making small changes at home. In response to consumer demand, many manufacturers have brought to the market eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives. These options include recycled paper, bamboo, and even direct-to-consumer options that are entirely free of plastic packaging.
To help you get started, we researched and tested the best eco-friendly toilet paper available on the market today.
Thankfully, there are a number of 100% bamboo toilet papers available on the market. Betterway won the best overall spot because among its competitors, Betterway was the softest tree-free brand while also being the most absorbent and longest lasting in our at-home testing. It’s hypoallergenic and gentle on sensitive skin. That may be because it’s chlorine-, BPA-, ink-, scent- and dye-free.
Betterway sources Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified bamboo pulp from small, family-owned farms that's hand-harvested from panda-free zones. The bamboo is grown organically, and the company is working on getting an organic certification. Betterway is among the more affordable bamboo toilet papers, and offers free climate-neutral shipping.
Betterway has committed to plastic-free recycled and recyclable packaging and cores all the way down to the tape on the box. The company says that 12 rolls of their 360-sheet 3-ply septic-safe bath tissue is equivalent to about 20 regular rolls because you need less of it to do the job.
Best Bamboo + Best Overall Runner-up:Cloud Paper Tree-free Toilet Paper
Another quality bamboo bath tissue, Cloud Paper sells direct-to-consumer toilet paper that's entirely free of plastic packaging and sourced from FSC-certified bamboo producers. This soft three-ply toilet paper is septic-safe and free of chlorine, BPA, pesticides, scents, and dyes. Our at-home testers like that the tightly-wound rolls last longer than other brands.
All of the packaging is recyclable or compostable paper, and you can also sign up for a subscription if you don't want to worry about running out. Shipping is free, and the company offsets the planet-heating emissions associated with transportation by purchasing carbon credits through The CarbonFund. These offsets support reforestation and forest preservation initiatives.
Cloud Paper has also donated over 140,000 rolls of TP to homeless shelters since the onset of the pandemic, and also offers tree-free paper towels.
Best Budget:Caboo Tree-Free Bath Tissue
Caboo Bamboo toilet paper may be a little more affordable because it is made from a combination of sustainably-grown bamboo and bagasse sugar cane. Bagasse is the fibrous residue left over after sugar cane juice is extracted to make table sugar. It’s usually burned or landfilled, so this toilet paper prevents the byproduct from being wasted. They claim that it’s also what gives this paper its softness.
If you can afford to buy it in larger quantities and you shop around, you can find it for about 50% less than other bamboo toilet papers. Caboo is also RV-, boat- and septic-safe while still being soft and strong. It is free of lint, BPA, fragrance, paraben, chlorine and non-GMO project verified.
You can feel good about using it because it meets British Retail Consortium Global Standards and is panda-friendly. Your purchase will also help 1% for the Planet, which supports environmental nonprofit organizations that focus on sustainability. However, this paper does come wrapped in a plastic film, which can be recycled anywhere that recycled plastic grocery bags.
Best Subscription:Who Gives a Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper
Subscription services are wonderful because they free your mind up for other things and you should literally never run out. Who Gives a Crap uses a chlorine-free bleaching process that's void of inks and dyes and all of their packaging is plastic-free and recyclable. Our at-home tester reported being happy with both the delivery service and the paper itself.
This 100% recycled bath tissue is made from 95% post-consumer recycled paper. The non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) grades toilet tissues, and this one earned an “A+”. The price is comparable, if not slightly cheaper, than other bamboo and recycled papers. The company offers a money-back guarantee so you can try it worry-free. They also sell a bamboo option.
The company is a a Certified B Corporation, but perhaps the best part is that they donate a whopping 50% of their profits to build toilets in communities in need. That’s added up to over $5.7 million to provide sanitation to those in need around the world.
The 7 Best Water-Saving Toilets of 2022
Best for Composting Toilets:Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue
Toilet paper is compostable by design. But some compost more quickly than others. For composting toilets, choose a toilet paper that is a thin 1-ply paper that is chlorine-, dye-, ink- and fragrance-free and approved for “RV/Marine Use.” In our at-home tests, it got good marks for texture and strength.
Finding 1-ply eco-friendly toilet paper isn’t easy, but Seventh Generation 100% Recycled 1-Ply toilet paper is widely available. Made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer recycled paper, it is gentle and durable while still breaking down quickly. It has no added dyes, inks or fragrances and is made without chlorine in the United States or Quebec from materials recycled in North America. You can find individual rolls that are wrapped in paper, but one downside of this brand is that larger packs often come wrapped together in plastic film.
It’s both FSC- and Rainforest Alliance-Certified so you know this product meets high standards for forests, climate, human rights and the farmers and workers that source and make the product. Seventh Generation also donates 10% of its profits to helping women build sustainable lives.
The 5 Best Composting Toilets of 2022
Best 100% Recycled:Marcal 100% Bath Tissue
Using 100% recycled toilet paper means that the paper is made from paper products that have been used at least once. Marcal Premium 2-Ply 100% Recycled bath tissue uses 60% post-consumer recycled content. It's Green Seal Certified, which means it has met high standards for health, sustainability and product performance. Made in the United States, Marcal also received an “A” grade from the NRDC and was awarded the Corporate Citizen Award.
This paper is whitened without chemicals containing chlorine and made without dyes and fragrances as well as virtually lint-free and septic-safe. Marcal is one of the few long-time big tissue companies who have successfully developed a eco-friendly product that can meet green market standards. This toilet paper is widely available and reasonably priced.
While there are several unbleached options available, most have yet to become FSC-Certified. We like Bim Bam Boo Organic 100% Bamboo toilet paper because it ticks all the boxes. It is free of fragrance, dyes, chlorine, formaldehyde, BPA, phthalates and lint. Suitable for septic, RVs and boats, it is also USDA Certified as BioPreferred and uses plastic-free packaging.
The rolls come individually wrapped in recyclable and compostable tissue paper, which we could live without, all in a recyclable cardboard container. The rolls are a little smaller than standard wood pulp toilet paper, but you may use less because of its sturdy thickness. Depending on where you buy Bim Bam Boo, it can cost twice as much as Caboo or Cloud Paper, but may be worth it for some.
This woman-founded brand discloses that the company is 60% Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), 40% Black and 100% female-identifying. Bim Bam Boo is committed to building 80% of its partnerships with “Black- and Brown-led” organizations. It also donates toilet paper and a portion of sales to causes in their community in North Minneapolis.
Best Tubeless:Georgia-Pacific Compact Coreless 2-Ply Recycled Toilet Paper
Most toilet paper rolls contain a paper tube that can be recycled or composted. Some conscientious manufacturers ensure that this tube, or core, is made of recycled cardboard to lessen the environmental impact. Or you can buy tubeless or coreless toilet paper rolls.
Not only does this toilet paper go without cardboard cores, but it also eliminates inner wraps and other corrugated material. It also is made with 25% post-consumer recycled fiber. It is compatible with compact quad, vertical and side-by-side toilet paper dispensers When you’re ready to go tubeless, this is the paper for you.
Consumers are lucky today to be able to easily find multiple quality organic bamboo and 100% recycled toilet papers. Try Betterway 100% Bamboo (view at Betterway) for your best balance of price, quality and environmental-thoughtfulness.
If the slightly higher price feels like too much of a stretch or commitment, pick up some Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Toilet Paper (view at Walmart). You’ll be glad you did with every flush.
What to consider in eco-friendly toilet paper:
Bamboo Toilet Paper
Bamboo is considered a sustainable alternative because it is a fast-growing crop (months instead of years for trees) that requires less land than traditional wood fibers. Its use produces about 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
But not all bamboos are equal. Shoppers should try to stick to products that use bamboo producers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a nonprofit that ensures the bamboo fibers were grown sustainably, that no forests were destroyed to make room for the bamboo crop and that their processes are chlorine-free. However, some bamboo-based paper makers have applied but not yet received the certification which takes time to approve. Unless otherwise noted, all bamboo-based toilet papers above are FSC-certified.
Recycled and Post-Consumer Recycled Toilet Paper
Although major toilet paper manufacturers have been slow to shift away from virgin boreal forest pulp, many new brands are offering toilet paper that is made from 100% recycled paper, or even better still post-consumer recycled toilet paper.
Post-consumer simply means that the source paper cannot be recycled in other ways and so using it for toilet paper rescues it from the landfill. FSC also certifies recycled and post-consumer recycled products so look for that, as well as the highest percentage you can find, when choosing what to buy.
Unbleached and Chlorine-Free
A number of processes have been used over the last hundred years in order to make paper products whiter. Most of those have used chlorine bleaching. Common household laundry bleach is 5% to 6% sodium hypochlorite. The chlorine in it is toxic in aquatic (and terrestrial) environments and concentration used to whiten pulp is usually much higher.
Chlorine-free bleach is made of solutions of other chemicals — such as sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate (Borax) — that work in a similar way, oxidizing or breaking down the compounds that make up the color of pulp. Although considered better for the environment than chlorine-based products, these chemicals are also not good for our waterways. The European Union has banned sodium perborate because it is classified as a reproductive toxin.
So, if you’re choosing any paper product including the paper that will touch your most intimate areas, your best choice would be unbleached. But until consumers adapt to products that are not bright white, you’ll find a lot of chlorine-free bleached products.
What is the environmental impact of toilet paper?
The U.S. accounted for about 56% of Canada’s pulp and paper exports in 2018, and about 35% from Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft pulp from Canada’s boreal forests. Most U.S. tissue product manufacturers make their toilet paper from this fiber. Those numbers are sadly still growing.
The Natural Resource Defence Council estimates that at least 26 million metric tons of carbon are released each year from Canada’s boreal forests — that’s clear cutting a small city block every minute—the equivalent of 5.5 million passenger vehicles.
This deforestation has a number of negative impacts. Habitat loss has threatened species like the boreal caribou, lynx, pine marten and several species of songbirds. Those same losses are impacting the way of life of indigenous communities and their ancestors who have lived among the forests for millennia.
Is it possible to avoid toilet paper?
Although it’s still slowly catching on, one way to significantly reduce the amount of toilet paper used in your home is to install a bidet. This handy washing device can be standalone or attach to your existing toilet. They’ve been widely used for decades in Japan, Venezuela and parts of Europe. Bidet use may reduce your toilet paper usage by about 75%, from about 23 to about six rolls per person per year—saving both trees and your money.
What about wheat straw toilet paper?
Although not yet widely available, wheat straw toilet paper is headed our way in the coming years, with new pulp mills opening in the Pacific Northwest. Wheat straw is one of the best alternative materials because it is an agricultural byproduct that might otherwise be incinerated.
Why Trust Treehugger?
To make this list, we looked for the brands with the best sustainability practices and third party certifications. After narrowing the field, our editors also tested top products in their own homes.
Lorraine Wilde tries to learn as much as she can about the cutting edge of environmental technology. She’s proud to help consumers make healthy, informed, and environmentally-conscious choices to protect their families and our planet. She also holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and uses that education to frame her consumer choices one product at a time.
Bamboo toilet paper is an eco-friendly alternative to toilet paper made with virgin fibers. Bamboo is highly sustainable and versatile. The bamboo plant grows faster than trees in the boreal forest and grows in various climates. Bamboo toilet paper also uses less water during its manufacturing process.What toilet paper does not contain formaldehyde? ›
Bumboo 100% Bamboo Organic Toilet Paper
This bamboo toilet paper is hypoallergenic, and you don't have to worry about allergies or chemicals. It contains no chlorine, BPA, dyes, formaldehyde, or fragrances.
Bamboo toilet paper is by far the most common tree-free toilet paper on the market. Bamboo is a much more sustainable option because it: requires less water (about 30% less than trees)What toilet paper is free of chemicals? ›
Bamboo Story 100% Unbleached Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper 3 PLY - Chemical Free, Plastic Free, Eco Friendly, Biodegradable, Sustainable Toilet Tissue - 24 Rolls & 250 Sheets Per Roll - Septic Safe.What do zero wasters use for toilet paper? ›
Next up for zero waste toilet paper options is “tree free” toilet paper made not from virgin tree pulp, but from renewable bamboo. Why are we excited by this one from Cloud Paper? Because a staggering 27000 trees are flushed down the toilet ever. single.
Charmin Sensitive toilet paper is dermatologist-tested to be gentle on skin!Is it better for the environment to flush or throw away toilet paper? ›
Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation's wastewater. While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items.Is there something better than toilet paper? ›
To reduce waste, lots of people look for re-usable toilet paper alternatives. The most common is probably cloth (commonly called 'The Family Cloth'). If you'd like to experiment with The Family Cloth, people recommend using a soft material like flannel or cotton (though you could use towels or washcloths).Is there an eco-friendly alternative to toilet paper? ›
Etsy Toilet Paper Cloths
Experienced users advise placing clean cloths in a bin, basket, or drawer near your toilet, and having another enclosed container for used cloths. Learn more about how to use, store, and clean reusable cloths as a toilet paper alternative.
No. 100% of the pulp used in our products is elemental chlorine free (ECF). If pulp is said to be ECF, it means that no elemental chlorine gas was used during the bleaching process.
Aptly named Cloud Paper ticks both with some of the softest eco friendly toilet paper around. You can choose between their Premium 3-ply or Basic 2-ply. Soft, strong, and lint-free, these 100% FSC-certified bamboo toilet paper rolls are free of scents, dyes, pesticides, BPA, and chlorine bleach.
Many people like Presto toilet paper because it's soft and strong. In addition to that, it dissolves very fast, so your old pipes will always be safe, and your toilet won't get clogged. It comes in six rolls, which means they are cost-effective.
But in the end, some Western doctors think that washing with toilet paper is better. According to Dr Evan Goldstein, a rectal surgeon from New York City, using toilet paper after a bowel movement can cause many infectious diseases. They believe that using water in a way can save you from many diseases.Where do they not use toilet paper? ›
Middle East. It's standard practice in the Muslim world to wash yourself with water after having gone to the toilet, rather than using paper, which is why in the Middle East you'll find TP a rarity.Is bamboo toilet paper better? ›
The short answer is yes, absolutely. Across the board, bamboo toilet paper outperforms other toilet paper options. When compared to bath tissue made out of recycled pulp and virgin pulp, bamboo tops them both. In terms of softness, recycled toilet paper tends to be the least soft.Is bamboo toilet paper better than recycled? ›
Bamboo toilet paper is generally 100% biodegradable; it will decompose naturally and break down much faster than regular or recycled varieties, some of which can take several years to fully decompose.Why do toilets in Italy have no seats? ›
Most Italian public toilets don't have a toilet seat.
This has to do with maintenance. Since public toilets are often less than spotless, people often climb with their shoes on top of them, not to sit on a potentially dirty seat.
Toilet paper is used in Japan, even by those who own toilets with bidets and washlet functions (see below). In Japan, toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet after use.What is cowboy toilet paper? ›
Cowboy's toilet paper is an invasive wildflower that is native to Eurasia and Africa. It is a biennial, meaning that it lives for two years. During the first year, it grows close to the ground as a basal rosette of leaves.What is the most common dermatological complaints? ›
Acne vulgaris, or acne, is one of the most common skin disorders treated by health care practitioners and dermatologists. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, affecting 85% of individuals in their lifetime .
- Best Overall. Cottonelle. Ultra ComfortCare. See Price at Amazon.
- Most Luxurious. Quilted Northern. Ultra Plush. See Price at Amazon.
- Most Eco-Friendly. Silk'n Soft. See Price at Amazon.
Aside from sunscreen, cleanser and moisturizer, there are two other products that pop up in the dermatologists' routines and recommendations: vitamin C and retinoid. Both ingredients can be effective at targeting age-related concerns, like dark spots and fine lines, with regular use.Why can you not flush toilet paper in Mexico? ›
In Mexico, if there is a septic tank, it is probably far smaller than those in the United States—especially if it is in rural areas. Therefore, flushing toilet paper in Mexico would require the septic tank to be cleaned more frequently.How do you dispose of toilet paper after use? ›
If the waste collector person comes daily to collect the waste dump it in the waste collector vehicle. It is recommended to put used tissue paper in your compost pile instead of throwing it away. Do not burn the paper wastes as they will pollute the air and release an unpleasant smell.Can you flush paper towels down the toilet? ›
No, you can't. In contrast to toilet paper, things like tissues and kitchen towels are designed to retain their strength as much as possible, especially when wet. Flush a tissue or paper towel down the toilet and it won't break down, at least not readily, so it's a prime candidate to clog your pipes.How do seniors clean after a bowel movement? ›
Use Wipes in Addition to Toilet Paper
The rest is common sense, folks, using wipes to clean everything up after using toilet paper.
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders recommends washing rather than wiping when you have anal discomfort. If you're at home, you can: Wash in the shower with lukewarm water, especially if you have a handheld showerhead. Soak in a sitz bath of warm water for just a minute or two.What can I use in the bathroom instead of paper towels? ›
- 1) Newspaper. After enjoying a morning of reading the newspaper, keep a stash of these handy readings that can also double as a household cleaning tool. ...
- 2) Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. ...
- 3) Cloth Diapers. ...
- 4) Old T-Shirts. ...
- 5) The Un-Paper Towel.
Bumroll – Bulk Toilet Paper 100% Recycled
Septic-safe, RV-safe, unscented, and 100% recycled, Bumroll toilet paper is an excellent eco-friendly, plastic-free choice for bathroom tissue.
Consider Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper for use in a boat or RV, or if you have a finicky septic system. This is a quick-dissolving option that helps to prevent clogs and back-ups. It's both sewage and septic-safe.
Large paper companies such as Georgia-Pacific and Kimberly-Clark Company make popular brands like Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Cottonelle and Scott bathroom tissues, and a majority of bathroom tissue is produced right here in America by members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.Does the US get toilet paper from China? ›
For this trio alone, that adds up to a bit more than 89 percent of all the toilet paper America imported. So while we get most of our toilet paper imports from our North America neighbors to the north and south, we also receive a substantial amount from China. This includes items like flushable wipes as well.What was the problem of Charmin? ›
Unfortunately, Procter & Gamble, the maker of Charmin, refuses to stop making its toilet paper from intact boreal forests, which has dire impacts on the global climate, treasured wildlife, and the ways of life of Indigenous Peoples.Is Charmin eco-friendly? ›
Charmin Ultra Eco only uses sustainably sourced bamboo, making it an effortlessly sustainable choice. Ultra Eco has the strength you need and the Charmin softness you expect. Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource. By using sustainably sourced bamboo, you are helping reduce deforestation.Does 3 ply toilet paper clog the toilet? ›
Using 3-ply toilet tissue is bad for your plumbing system because it's much thicker than 1 or 2-ply toilet paper. A clog can form in pipes if too much thick paper gets caught up in them, so using 1-ply is better for preventing clogs and backups in your home's pipes and drains.Is Costco toilet paper good? ›
Similarly to facial tissues, skip this other important Kirkland paper product. Consumer Reports found that although the Kirkland toilet paper is soft, it only offers so-so strength. The consumer ratings on Consumer Reports aren't any better, and the majority are in the one star section.What can you pour down a toilet to unclog it? ›
We recommend you add a cup of baking soda to your blocked toilet and wait for some minutes. Next, pour two cups of vinegar slowly into the toilet. Vinegar and baking soda will typically react to form bubbles, so ensure you pour carefully and slowly to prevent the toilet water from overflowing or splashing.What is the best toilet paper that doesn't clog? ›
- Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper.
- Angel Soft Toilet Paper.
- Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Supreme.
- Presto! Ultra Soft Tissue Paper.
A Consultant Public Health Physician at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Tanimola Akande, says washing with water, rather than wiping with tissue paper, is more hygienic after defecating.Do Indians use toilet paper? ›
India: Tourists are often surprised to learn that toilet paper is not easily accessible here. While you may find toilet paper in hotels and some stores in tourist spots, most homes and public places don't have them stocked. The people of this culture use water to clean themselves when necessary.
Bidets haven't ever been widely embraced in American culture. A common origin story for this reluctance is that bidets were seen as lascivious because they were used in brothels as a form of emergency contraception.What do Europeans use instead of toilet paper? ›
In Europe, toilet paper is certainly an option for sanitation, but most occupants overseas prefer to use the bidet for cleaning themselves post toilet use.Is it better to buy recycled or bamboo toilet paper? ›
Which Is Better? Although bamboo is said to be softer and healthier for skin, the NRDC says recycled toilet paper currently has a lower environmental impact.Is toilet paper made from bamboo better for the environment? ›
So, if you're wondering whether bamboo toilet paper is eco-friendly, the answer is yes, it most certainly is. Bamboo is a renewable resource that also happens to be remarkably soft and strong. As a result of their versatility and renewability, bamboo products have a much smaller environmental impact.What nationality has no toilet paper? ›
Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan: These countries also use water for their cleaning needs while in the washroom, though the “restroom” isn't so much a toilet, more of a “hole” in the floor. Much like the people of Asian cultures, you have to squat over the hole.Why don't they have toilet seats in Italy? ›
Most Italian public toilets don't have a toilet seat.
This has to do with maintenance. Since public toilets are often less than spotless, people often climb with their shoes on top of them, not to sit on a potentially dirty seat.
Toilet paper is used in Japan, even by those who own toilets with bidets and washlet functions (see below). In Japan, toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet after use. However, please be sure to put just the toilet paper provided in the toilet.Does bamboo toilet paper cause blockages? ›
Because these bamboo fibres are soft by nature, they easily break up and filter through your sewage system normally along with the water. There will be no clogged toilets and you definitely won't need to call in the plumber on your weekend off! There you have it – bamboo toilet paper is certified as drain-safe!Does bamboo toilet paper come from China? ›
Shipping: Many bamboo toilet paper alternatives come from China. Though it is a drawback in terms of shipping emissions, it's often the most sustainable option, considering bamboo naturally grows in China. That said, it's best that your chosen company has options to offset the emissions.What brands of toilet paper are made from bamboo? ›
- No. Hands down, No. ...
- Who Gives a Crap. In addition to being made with 100% forest-friendly bamboo, the rolls from this Aussie brand were specifically crafted to be super soft. ...
- Caboo. ...
- Bim Bam Boo. ...
- Pure Planet.
3. Bamboo TP Is Safe for All Sewage and Septic Systems. As a matter of fact, it might even be safer than tree-based toilet paper. Not only does it break down, but it's also biodegradable and as we noted, it doesn't have the same harsh chemicals that other toilet papers use.Is bamboo better instead of plastic? ›
Bamboo packaging is better for the environment because it is natural, renewable, biodegradable, and a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging. Containers, boxes, parcels, and cartons do not contain toxic materials that can harm the environment and health.Does recycled toilet paper block drains? ›
Recycled toilet tissue is made from recycled paper and/or wood pulp is often the least soft, cheaper option. Eco-friendly as it is by creating something useful from our waste paper bins, some users find it blocks their drains.