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Going Green in the Bathroom: 16 Eco-Friendly Brands for Plastic-Free Toilet Paper

Updated: Jan 20

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We all have to use the toilet rather regularly during the day. How we clean ourselves afterward differs a lot in different cultures but most of us still use old-fashioned toilet paper. It is easy to use and you can buy it everywhere. It is also great that often serves multiple purposes besides cleaning ourselves. It is also great for spills and to use in and around the house but, it is rather wasteful as it is a single-use product often made from virgin wood. So, what eco-friendly alternatives are available to our good old toilet paper?

 
 

Why switch to eco-friendly plastic-free toilet paper?

Let's first start with why you should look into a more eco-friendly option for your toilet paper.

On average, people in the US use about 10 rolls of toilet paper per month. There are about 320 million people in the US which results in about 10x12x320 million= 38,400,000,000 rolls of toilet paper that are flushed down the toilet each year. Toilet paper requires a lot of resources to produce. Not only wood to create paper but this wood also needs to be turned into toilet paper. One roll of toilet paper requires about requires 37 gallons of water, 1.3 kilowatt/hours (KWh) of electricity, and 1.5 pounds of wood. As we prefer our toilet paper to be white and soft, bleach is added to remove any color and to break down lignin (which is what makes wood hard) to make our toilet paper soft. All this is impacting our planet immensely. Overall Americans flush about 15 million trees down the toilet each year. 473,587,500,000 gallons of water are needed to produce all this paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine for bleaching. It also requires about 17.3 terawatts of electricity annually and a significant amount of energy and materials are used in packaging and transportation to retail outlets. Knowing this, it is about time to look for something a little more eco-friendly.


Things to consider in eco-friendly toilet paper


Bamboo Toilet Paper

Bamboo is a great sustainable choice as a raw material for eco-friendly toilet paper. Next to toilet paper, it is often chosen as a sustainable substitute for wood. It is much more sustainable compared to wood as it grows much faster. A bamboo plant can be harvested after just 60 days while a tree needs years before the wood can be harvested. It is even found that a one-hectare plantation of bamboo and its products could store 306 tonnes of carbon over 60 years compared with 178 tonnes for Chinese fir trees. Not only that, bamboo produces about 35% more oxygen compared to other trees and can absorb up to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year.

But not all bamboo is the same. Look for bamboo products that use bamboo that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This is a nonprofit organization that ensures that bamboo fibers were grown sustainably, that no forests were destroyed to make room for bamboo and that their production processes are chlorine-free. However, some bamboo toilet paper brands have applied but have not yet been approved for certification as it takes time to be approved.

Recycled and Post-Consumer Recycled Toilet Paper

Virgin wood should be avoided as much as possible in general. It requires lots of water and chemicals to produce and demands a lot of energy. Recycled paper or even better post-consumer recycled toilet paper is a great alternative.

Post-consumer 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 pay attention to that as well. The higher the percentage of post-consumer waste the more waste that is prevented from ending up in landfills.

 
 

Chemicals to avoid


Bleach

Chlorine has been used by a multitude of processes over the past decades to make paper products whiter. Most of these manufacturers use chlorine bleaching. Chlorine is toxic for aquatic (and terrestrial) life and concentrations used to whiten wood pulp are usually much higher to be considered safe. Luckily there are other processes to whiten paper or you could accept that your toilet paper is not completely white.


Formaldehyde

Some manufacturers still use formaldehyde in their toilet paper. They use this to improve the strength of toilet paper when it becomes wet. Formaldehyde is carcinogenic but is also known to cause chronic vulva irritation in women.


Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the recycling industry. Eco-friendly manufacturers use this compound while producing recycled toilet paper as it is necessary during processing leftover pieces of paper from the printing industry. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that has been shown to be harmful even at low doses.

So, when choosing recycled paper as your go-to for eco-friendly toilet paper, make sure it is BPA-free.


So, now we know what to look for and what to avoid when looking for eco-friendly toilet paper. To make it a little easier for you, we would like to share a few plastic-free toilet paper brands that are a great eco-friendly alternative to virgin wood ones.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands

Eco-friendly Toilet paper brands

PlantPaper

  • Material: FSC-certified bamboo

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 16

  • Sheets per roll: 200

  • Price per roll: $2.60

  • Price per 100 sheets: $1.30

  • Packaging: Recycled cardboard box

This eco-friendly toilet paper is tree-free, toxin-free, and 3-Ply so you are sure you will feel good about using it. Made from fast-growing, FSC-certified bamboo plants that ensure each roll is stronger, more absorbent, and made entirely without the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - plant paper


Reel

  • Material: Bamboo Fiber

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 300

  • Price per roll: $1.66

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.55

  • Packaging: Recycled paper

Your bum will love it, that is how the reel is promoting its plastic-free toilet paper. Reel eco-friendly toilet paper is made of 100% bamboo, making it the most sustainable, eco-friendly toilet paper on the market. By purchasing Reel, you are supporting their mission to provide access to clean toilets to those in need around the world.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - reel


Better Way

  • Material: Bamboo

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 12

  • Sheets per roll: 360

  • Price per roll: $2.50

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.69

  • Packaging: Plastic free

96% of people choose Better Way as their eco-friendly toilet paper of choice. They are so sure about their product that they have a money-back return if you don’t love their plastic-free toilet paper. Their eco toilet paper is hypoallergenic, unscented, and dye-free.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - better way


Cloud

  • Material: FSC-certified Bamboo

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 350

  • Price per roll: $1.88

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.54

  • Packaging: 100% post-consumer recycled box

With 350 sheets per roll, this eco-friendly toilet paper has almost twice as much toilet paper on a roll. All parts of this product are compostable, even the tape that is used to close the box. They offset all the carbon emissions for transportation.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - cloud


Bamboo Story

  • Material: Bamboo

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 250

  • Price per roll: $1.71

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.70

  • Packaging: Cardboard

Bamboo Story is free from chemicals like formaldehyde, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide. Their products are biodegradable, and safe for our health and environment. The box has a self-locking mechanism making the use of tape redundant making it a more eco-friendly product.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - bamboo story


Seventh Generation

  • Material: Recycled paper

  • Sourced: USA

  • Ply: 2

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 240

  • Price per roll: $1.38

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.29

  • Packaging: (partially) Recycled Plastic

Choosing products made from recycled products is a great way to reduce the demand for products made from virgin materials. This eco-friendly toilet paper is whitened without bleach and there are no added dyes, inks, or fragrances to be as safe for your skin as possible.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - seventh generation


Caboo

  • Material: 60% bamboo, 40% sugarcane

  • Sourced: Sichuan region of Western China

  • Ply: 2

  • Rolls per pack: 16

  • Sheets per roll: 300

  • Price per roll: $ 1.50

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.52

  • Packaging: Plastic

Working with the U.S. Forest Service, Caboo plants a tree for every pound of paper sold. Their plastic-free toilet paper is biodegradable and safe for septic tanks. It breaks down naturally in about 4-6 months.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - caboo


Bampoo

  • Material: Bamboo

  • Sourced: China & Florida

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 370

  • Price per roll: $ 1.86

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.51

  • Packaging: Cardboard box

This plastic-free toilet paper is unbleached which means the color is slightly different. You don’t need to worry about irritation or sensitivity from this eco-friendly toilet paper as it is completely free from the chemicals that may be present in regular toilet paper brands.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - bampoo


Mother Earth

  • Material: Organic Bamboo

  • Sourced: Sichuan region of Western China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 12

  • Sheets per roll: 300

  • Price per roll: $2.05

  • Price per 100 sheets: $ 0.68

  • Packaging: Recycled boxes

This plastic-free toilet paper is made of 100% organic bamboo and sustainably packaged with recycled boxes and toilet paper cores. No pesticides or fertilizers were used during the production of the bamboo, and this eco-friendly toilet paper is whitened using an Elemental Chlorine Free Bleaching process.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - mother earth


Of Earth

  • Material: Bamboo

  • Sourced: China

  • Ply: 3

  • Rolls per pack: 24

  • Sheets per roll: 300

  • Price per roll: $1.67

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.56

  • Packaging: Cardboard

Eco-friendly toilet paper is free from any form of whitening chemicals saving your skin from lots of potential residues and saving lots of water during production. Completely plastic free and biodegradable so it is safe to use while traveling.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - of earth


Amazon Aware

  • Material: Recycled paper

  • Sourced: USA

  • Ply: 2

  • Rolls per pack:

  • Sheets per roll: 340

  • Price per roll: $0.92

  • Price per 100 sheets: $0.27

  • Packaging: Paper

This eco-friendly toilet paper is produced from 100% recycled paper, with a minimum of 65% post-consumer content. This is the highest amount of post-consumer content recycled on this list. This makes it a lot more eco-friendly compared to other brands but it does affect the softness of this plastic-free toilet paper.

Eco-friendly Plastic Free Toilet Paper Brands - amazon aware