As we try to live greener lives and make ethical shopping choices, we tend to look for household items promoting an ‘eco-friendly’, ‘green’ or ‘recycled’ stamp. Toilet roll can often take a backseat when we’re buying eco-friendly items, but roughly 27,000 trees are chopped down every day to make the stuff. Resisting the urge to pick up any old loo roll on your weekly shop, and finding an eco-friendly alternative, is a positive, and easy, move.
Thankfully there are a number of sustainable toilet paper companies offering alternative fibre and recycled paper options. It’s worth looking beyond the reassuring eco-friendly stickers to avoid greenwashing. As well as the sustainability of the paper and packaging, there’s the production process to consider too, with bleaching processes and carbon emissions having a negative impact on our ecosystem.
To help you make sense of the complex world of eco-friendly toilet roll, we’ve put together a list of sustainable and recycled options.
Want to further reduce your environmental footprint? See our guide to the best plastic-free household items for an eco-friendly lifestyle, and our best sustainable dishwasher tablets. You can also make your wardrobe more green too with our list of the best eco-friendly outdoor kit.
Best sustainable toilet paper for 2022
The Cheeky Panda, 45 rolls
As you can probably guess from the name and branding, Cheeky Panda’s toilet paper is made entirely from bamboo. The sustainable fibre is a popular choice for eco-friendly alternatives as it grows faster and absorbs more carbon than trees. Cheeky Panda use FSC certified bamboo, which is something to look out for when you’re choosing bamboo products. This ensures the fibre is sourced in a way respective of human rights and responsible forest management.
To offset the carbon produced by their shipment and production process, the company donates to the World Land Trust.
We like the fact the rolls aren’t individually wrapped. While eye-catching recycled paper prints make for nice bathroom decoration, it creates more packaging waste for us to deal with. A lovely rattan basket works well if you’re looking for a toilet paper storage solution.
Discover how to make beeswax wraps, for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wraps.
Bumboo, 48 rolls
Here’s another FSC certified bamboo option to consider. Bumboo offer ‘tree-free’ toilet roll, and they plant a tree for every box of toilet roll sold. This is done through the Eden Reforestation Project who support communities suffering from the effects of deforestation. The ‘Buy One Plant One’ initiative helps increase employment and tree growth, as local villagers are employed to plant the trees.
We’ve gone for the wrapper-free choice, with the rolls just loose in the box, to avoid any unnecessary packaging.
This brand promises a soft and luxurious feel, so it’s perhaps one for fussy guests!
Naked Sprout, 24 rolls
If you’re not fussed about crisp white toilet paper, you could go for an unbleached roll. Naked Sprout is a small British company that have gone for the au natural toilet paper route by going bleach and chemical free.
Some toilet paper, including certain bamboo options, use ECF bleach which can release harmful gas into the air and water. For bleached paper, it’s best to look out for totally chlorine free (TCF), or processed chlorine-free (PCF) options.
Looking for more ways to live a greener life? Find out how to reduce your plastics.
Who Gives a Crap, 28 rolls
If the naked look is not for you, and you prefer a well-dressed toilet roll, Who Gives a Crap is an appealing choice. This funkily wrapped toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper, and the company donates 50% of their profits to help those without clean water and toilets.
What’s more, this toilet paper takes top prize on The National Resources Defense Council’s sustainable buyer’s guide scorecard, so it’s more than just an attractive bathroom accessory.
You can make use of their handy subscription service. This lets you stock up, and prevents unnecessary car trips too. As an added bonus, they offer a reduction to new subscribers.
Serious Tissues toilet paper, 36 rolls
This company takes your old cereal boxes and newspapers, and turns them into toilet paper. Serious Tissues produce their toilet roll here in the UK, just outside Manchester. This results in a reduced carbon footprint as they don’t ship fibres such as bamboo from overseas.
To help tackle deforestation, this company plants trees in locations including Nepal, Indonesia Madagascar and the UK.
For more eco-friendly household essentials, check out these plastic-free alternatives.