Unnecessary plastic seems to creep into almost everything we buy. And the worst thing is that we often don’t even notice it! My parents recently took part in a week-long plastic survey, tallying up all the different types of plastic that arrived in the home throughout the week. The results were extremely saddening, despite my parents being really good with their plastic consumption – using reusable vegan deodorants, buying their veg plastic-free from Riverford, and switching to metal safety razers.
This made me think about the bits of plastic that go unnoticed. The ones that sneak into your home and then shortly into your rubbish bin without you really even noticing.
And one of these things is toilet roll.
It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how not to wrap things in plastic. Yes, I can understand the need to protect our loo rolls from external substances, especially since these sheets are destined for our private parts. But this can definitely be done without relying on plastic.
How do I know it can be done? Well, there’s actually a bunch of really awesome eco toilet roll companies that are doing just this! And I’m going to be talking about them shortly.
Why isn't toilet roll eco-friendly?
Putting the issue of the aforementioned plastic wrap aside, let’s focus on the toilet rolls themselves. Quite often these are made using virgin pulp, especially to cater to the demand for thicker and softer loo rolls. Virgin pulp means more trees are being torn down leading to deforestation issues. To add to this, the virgin pulp is then bleached which requires the use of more harmful chemicals than recycled paper.
Many companies might advertise that they use recycled paper and you’ll probably see this regularly on the packaging of most toilet rolls, but the amount of recycled paper that is actually used is decreasing.
So most toilet rolls aren’t at all eco-friendly, from the material of the loo roll itself to the plastic covering that wraps them all up. This is why we need to be buying from brands that actually use recycled paper or the brands that are championing wood alternatives.
Here are the eco toilet roll brands
Let’s cut to the crap that we really care about here, the brands who are doing something to make this industry more sustainable and eco-friendly! So, here are our favourite eco toilet rolls which we’ve tried and tested:
Cheeky Panda Bamboo Toilet Paper
For me, these are the best all-round eco-friendly toilet rolls in terms of softness, sustainability, and price. They are the second cheapest, but they are also for me, the nicest to use.
I love that they use the wild crop of bamboo. Not only is it more sustainable but it also requires fewer chemicals to transform it into toilet roll.
There is a downside, however, because of the use of bamboo, these are made in and shipped from China. It is where the wild bamboo is, so understandably it will have to start its journey here. The finished toilet rolls are sent via shipping containers and the company matches their use of carbon by planting trees in Vietnam.
Who Gives a Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper
I discovered Who Gives a Crap whilst staying at an eco hotel in London. I was instantly taken in by their bright packaging and thought how awesome it is for the hospitality industry to be able to source eco loo roll that is individually wrapped – so it looks great when its sitting next to your hotel loo.
So I was really happy to see that they also do smaller packs wrapped up together in recycled paper.
They use recycled paper which is ink, scent, and dye free. I found it to be thick and soft enough for my liking, although I do prefer the bamboo toilet roll brands here for their softness.
The best thing about their toilet roll is that even though it is on the more expensive side, you get 2x the amount per roll. Great for those moments when you’ve done an extra big poo!
Feel Good Eco Toilet Paper
The cheapest of the eco-friendly toilet rolls, but you can feel the difference when wiping. It isn’t as soft and can be a little thin but apparently, some people prefer their loo roll that way!
That being said, these eco loo rolls are really strong so they hold together well.
They are made using recycled paper, but they put an emphasis on the fact that they use only high-quality recycled paper, like office paper.
Bumboo Luxury Bamboo Toilet Tissue
Bumboo is another 100% bamboo-based eco toilet roll company with a focus on delivery in bulk to minimise its delivery footprint. As these are made with bamboo, they are also manufactured in China, but like Cheeky Panda they attempt to offset by planting trees with every purchase.
They deliver theirs in a cardboard box with the choice of individually wrapped rolls or unwrapped rolls. This may be preferable for some as they can unpack the rolls and store them well in their wraps without them picking up unwanted dust and nasties.
They are on the more expensive side, but worth it for anyone who loves the softness of bamboo and is after a more visually pleasing product.