The Best Eco-Friendly, Sustainable and Zero-Waste Toilet Paper

Written by Moss Lane Staff

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If you’re looking for a way to reduce your use of everyday products that cause environmental harm, your toilet paper is a great place to start. With 27,000 trees being cut down every day to support the conventional toilet paper industry, we might literally be flushing our forests down the toilet. 

Toilet paper isn’t a household item that most people want to compromise on quality, though. We’re all used to soft, multi-ply toilet paper in our bathrooms. Luckily, eco-friendly toilet paper and more sustainable options aren’t as scratchy and thin as you might imagine they’d be.

We’ve found the best sustainable toilet paper brands that use materials like 100% recycled paper or bamboo that are high quality and won’t feel like a sacrifice in support of eco-friendly consumerism. Here are our favorite eco-friendly toilet paper brands on the market today. 

Best Overall Eco Friendly Toilet Paper

BEST OVERALL

Who Gives a Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper

Who Gives a Crap offers a sustainable toilet paper roll made from 100% recycled fibers with up to 95% of the material being post-consumer content. They source the post-consumer waste from textbooks, office paper, workbooks and more, from locations as close to their factory as possible. By focusing on high quality materials for their toilet paper, they believe their papers should not contain any traces of BPA. To be sure, they conduct BPA testing on a regular basis to ensure there are no traces of it in the product. 

We love that this sustainable toilet paper option is the new winner in a recent re-evaluation of a study from the Natural Resources Defense Counsel (NRDC) and Stand.earth that looks at the most (and least) sustainable toilet paper brands.

The toilet paper is a 3-ply, 400-sheet roll that’s biodegradable and works with most septic tanks. One order will have 48 rolls for $48, but you can subscribe to get toilet paper on a regular cadence. The rolls come individually wrapped in a fun, bright pattern. What’s best is that customers absolutely love this product—they get over 6,000 5-star reviews. 

We also love that Who Gives a Crap is a certified B Corp, and they donate 50% of their profits to improve sanitation in developing countries. 

What customers love

  • It’s a durable toilet paper with a (not too) soft texture
  • It’s easy to manage orders and timing (if you subscribe)
  • Good price for a high quality, eco-friendly product

what customers don’t love

  • Some users have found it’s hard to remove the seal from the roll’s packaging
  • It’s not as luxurious and soft as conventional toilet paper. 

Runner Up

RUNNER UP

Green Forest 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue

Green Forest’s eco-friendly toilet paper is made with 100% recycled materials, with 90% being from post-consumer content. The interior roll itself is 100% recycled cardboard, with 75% from post-consumer content as well. It’s also whitened without the use of chlorine. 

We love that this eco-friendly toilet paper option scored an “A” in NRDC and Stand.earth study on sustainable toilet paper brands. We like that they’ve taken strides to be a sustainable and socially responsible company. They’ve passed the Green America qualifications, meaning they’ve demonstrated socially and environmentally responsible ways to source, manufacture, and market their products and run their offices and factories. 

Green Forest is a well-loved product in the sustainable toilet paper space and gets great reviews on Amazon. It ranks as our runner up as it’s a bit more expensive than other options on this list. 

what Customers love

  • The toilet paper rolls last a really long time. 
  • It’s thick and soft and feels similar to conventional brands. 

What Customers don’t love

  • There’s a bit of debris left over when you tear paper from the roll. 

Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Best Recycled Options

When you’re looking for eco-friendly toilet paper, rolls made out of recycled paper are our top picks. Don’t worry, we’ve included some great bamboo toilet paper options below, too. 

There’s a lot to consider when buying 100% recycled toilet paper (and we dive into those considerations in our buying guide), but here are our absolute favorite brands in this eco-friendly toilet paper space.  

Seventh Generation Unbleached Recycled Bathroom Tissue

seventh-generation

Recycled Paper

Seventh Generation

Unbleached Recycled Bathroom Tissue

DETAILS

  • Made with 80% post-consumer content and 20% pre-consumer content
  • Strong, 2-ply roll

Seventh Generation’s Unbleached Recycled Bathroom Tissue is an eco-friendly toilet paper option you can feel really good about buying. 

It’s made with 100% recycled paper, with 80% being post-consumer content, and 20% pre-consumer content. Most toilet paper is also bleached with chemicals that produce highly toxic by-products (to make the toilet paper white and extra-soft). With Seventh Generation’s recycled toilet paper, you won’t have to worry about toxins from the bleaching process lurking in your rolls. 

It’s a 2-ply roll that gets great reviews, too. Users love that it’s soft and doesn’t cause irritation. In general, people think it’s the best unbleached, recycled and eco-friendly toilet paper on the market. 

We also love that Seventh Generation is a certified B Corp that’s doing a lot to reduce plastic use, incorporate safe ingredients, and advocate for progressive policy in the non-toxic and safe manufacturing space. 

Natural Value 100% Recycled Toilet Paper

natural-value

Recycled Ppaer

Natural Value

100% Recycled Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • Minimum 80% post-consumer recycled content
  • Soft and durable

Natural Value offers a 100% recycled toilet paper roll with a minimum of 80% post-consumer recycled material. It’s also made with no chlorine bleach, and it has no inks, dyes, or fragrances. Natural Value is another brand that scored an “A” in the same sustainable toilet paper study conducted by the NRDC and Stand.earth.

It’s a 2-ply roll that they consider a “double roll,” with 500 sheets. It doesn’t get as many reviews as other eco-friendly toilet paper options on this list, but the reviews they do have are great. Customers love that it’s both soft and durable. 

Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Best Bamboo Options

There are a lot of reasons why bamboo is a great option for eco-friendly toilet paper: It’s fast growing (a regular conifer grows a foot in a year—bamboo can grow that much in an hour), and can tolerate poor soil and little water. For these reasons, bamboo is gaining a lot of traction in the sustainable textile space. 

If bamboo is the right eco-friendly toilet paper material for you, here are the best brands to check out. 

No.2 Bamboo Toilet Paper

no2

Bamboo Paper

No.2

Bamboo Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • 100% bamboo fiber, with no inks, dyes, or fragrances
  • Strong and silky

No.2’s Bamboo Toilet Paper is made from 100% bamboo fiber. It’s made without any inks, dyes, or fragrances, and the wrapping is 100% recycled paper, too. Importantly, No.2 is also considered Responsible Forestry Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), so you can trust their bamboo harvesting practices. 

The bamboo toilet paper is meant to be strong and silky. It gets really great reviews (over 1,000 5-stars), and customers confirm that it’s super strong, and doesn’t break or crumble easily. Plus, we love their fun, stylish packaging (made with soy inks!), making No.2 toilet paper an unexpected decor element in your bathroom.

Cheeky Panda Bamboo Toilet Paper

cheeky-panda

Bamboo Paper

Cheeky Panda

Bamboo Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • 3-ply roll
  • Carbon Neutral, FSC certified, vegan certified

Cheeky Panda’s Bamboo Toilet Paper is another great sustainable toilet paper made from bamboo. It’s a 3-ply roll that has the characteristic strength and softness of bamboo toilet paper.

Cheeky Panda is certified by the FSC, and it’s a certified vegan brand. Everything they do is plastic free, and any materials that they ship with are 100% recycled. 

We also love Cheeky Panda’s commitment to sustainability. They’re carbon neutral in partnership with the The World Land Trust, where they rebuild forests in Vietnam and protect animal habitats. They also started their Earth, Ocean & People, that donates to The World Land Trust, Whale & Dolphin Conservation and Toilet Twinning.

Cloud Papers Bamboo Toilet Paper

cloud-papers

Bamboo Paper

Cloud Papers

Bamboo Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • 100% chlorine-free, BPA, dyes, and synthetic fragrance free

Cloud Papers is another great bamboo toilet paper company offering 100% bamboo toilet paper that’s soft, strong, and septic-safe. 

Cloud Papers bamboo is also FSC certified, and we like that they disclose their supply chain on their site (they manufacture in Seattle, and source their bamboo from small, FSC-certified bamboo farms and factories in China). They also offset two times the amount of carbon generated from the manufacturing process to the shipping process. 

Their rolls are 100% chlorine-free (they bleach with a TCF method), and have no BPA, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. All of their packaging is also plastic-free, recyclable and compostable. 

Cloud Papers bamboo toilet paper gets great reviews, too (over 750 5-stars). Customers found that it was softer than a lot of other bamboo toilet papers, but was just as strong as they’d expect from a bamboo roll. 

Bippy Bamboo Toilet Paper

bippy-bamboo

Bamboo Paper

Bippy

Bamboo Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • 3-ply roll with 250 sheets
  • Carbon Neutral brand

Bippy’s 100% bamboo toilet paper is a 3-ply roll with 250 sheets. It’s super soft, lint-free, and 100% biodegradable. It’s also an FSC certified brand, so you know they’re sourcing their bamboo in sustainable ways. 

Everything about Bippy’s sustainable toilet paper is plastic-free, and the rolls are wrapped in bright, colorful FSC-certified paper. (Like No.2, you can leave these rolls out without knocking your bathroom aesthetic down a notch.) 

We love that Bippy is a women-owned business and is certified Carbon Neutral through their partnership with Carbonfree, and they neutralize 36 metric tons of carbon emissions from operations and product shipments by supporting reforestation and forest conservation projects.

It’s also an eco-friendly toilet paper that gets great customer reviews—it gets over 400 5-start reviews. Users love that it’s soft, strong, and the subscription program is easy to manage. 

Reel Bamboo Toilet Paper

reel

Bamboo Paper

Reel

Bamboo Toilet Paper

DETAILS

  • 3-ply roll with 300 sheets
  • BPA-free and contains no dyes or fragrances

Reel is another 100% bamboo toilet paper company offering a 3-ply roll with 300 sheets (so you’ll be getting a bit more for your money). It’s BPA-free, contains no dyes or fragrances, and all of its packaging is plastic-free. It’s also FSC certified. 

Reel also has over 3,000 5-star reviews. Customers like that it’s a bit more substantial than other bamboo toilet papers they’ve tried. 

We also love that Reel gives back, and supports a mission to provide access to toilets to those in need. They partner with SOIL, an organization that provides toilets and transforms waste management in communities in Haiti. 

Best Zero-Waste Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is a personal choice, and not everyone’s up for the completely zero-waste toilet paper options. We get it. We celebrate any move towards more sustainable and eco-friendly purchases for toilet paper. 

If you are ready to commit to zero-waste toilet paper options here are some options you can choose. 

Tushy Classic 3.0

tushy

Zero Waste

Tushy

Classic 3.0

DETAILS

  • Great option for saving water

When you pair a bidet with a reusable cloth option, it becomes a fantastic toilet paper substitute that’s zero-waste. 

There are a lot of bidet attachments out there, and we like Tushy for their fantastic customer reviews and sleek, unobtrusive design. 

The Tushy Classic bidet works for all standard toilets, and requires no electricity. You just place the Tushy under the seat, connect the water, and turn the wood nozzle to start the spray. It’s fully adjustable and self-cleaning. 

Tushy is a great zero-waste toilet paper substitute that keeps you from having to flush your paper down the toilet. It also saves water—in a week, a Tushy will use 1.3 gallons of water, compared to the 55.5 gallons of water used to create a week’s worth of toilet paper. We also like that Tushy donates a portion of profits to build community toilets in India and improve sanitation facilities. 

The Tushy Classic also gets great reviews (over 7,500 5-star reviews). Customers noted that it’s easier to install than you would think, and, bottom-line, it works. 

Organic Washable Reusable Toilet Paper from GreenLittleNest 

green-little-nest

Zero Waste

GreenLittleNest

Organic Washable Reusable Toilet Paper from GreenLittleNest 

DETAILS

  • GOTS certified organic cotton

Another true zero-waste toilet paper option is to supply reusable cloths in your bathroom. Etsy has lots of creators making reusable toilet paper cloths, but GreenLittleNest’s small washable cloth squares are among the best-reviewed options. 

These reusable cloths are made with 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. They measure about 5 by 6 inches, and are two 2-ply squares to provide a bit of thickness. You can machine wash them either hot or cold, trust that they’re getting thoroughly cleaned, and stock them back in your bathroom. Lots of reviewers use them for toilet paper replacement, but they also work well as a drying mechanism for people who use bidets. 

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Toilet Paper Buying Guide

When you’re shopping for eco-friendly toilet paper, there are a few things you want to consider when it comes to the material you’re buying. 

In the world of sustainable toilet paper, recycled paper or bamboo are the most common materials you’ll be choosing between. We believe that recycled paper is the most sustainable option, but that doesn’t mean bamboo is a material to completely avoid. It has its merits, too! 

Here are some of the things you need to know about recycled paper vs. bamboo as sustainable toilet paper options so you can make the decision yourself. 

Bamboo Toilet Paper: What to Consider

Bamboo is gaining a lot of traction as a sustainable textile option. And there are a lot of reasons to shop for bamboo paper products over conventional paper products from wood. 

Bamboo is a hardy, (super) fast-growing plant that can grow practically anywhere with little water and poor soil. Whereas the average tree takes a year to grow one food, bamboo can grow that in one hour. It’s almost always a better pick over paper products made from virgin wood (especially when you hear that one million acres of virgin, boreal forest get mowed down each year to support the toilet paper industry). All in, bamboo products produce 30% fewer emissions than products made from virgin wood, according to the NRDC. 

However, the bamboo industry does cause deforestation of natural areas (yes, people cut down trees to find more space to grow bamboo). It’s also almost entirely produced in China, which presents its own issues when you consider the conventional manufacturing processes used overseas. 

We recommend shopping for bamboo toilet paper products that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. It’s a way to make sure the products you’re buying are being farmed, harvested, and manufactured in a sustainable way. The FSC certification means that “products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.”

Recycled Toilet Paper: What to Consider

Recycled toilet paper is made by soaking paper in water, removing the ink, bleaching and sanitizing it, and then drying it. Recycled paper can be made of pre- or post-consumer materials (or more often, a combination of both). Post-consumer content is material that is reused instead of thrown away after it’s initial use. Pre-consumer content is also known as “manufacturing waste,” and is typically recovered paper scraps and trims from manufacturing options. 

According to the NRDC, manufacturing recycled paper produces one-third the amount of greenhouse gases than manufacturing virgin paper does. It also doesn’t contribute to any deforestation or natural habitat destruction that’s associated with manufacturing any type of wood—virgin wood or bamboo.  

For that reason, we’re choosing 100% recycled paper as our sustainable toilet paper material. 

But when it comes to recycled products, not all materials are created equal. You want to look for high percentages of post-consumer recycled materials (at least 40% to 60%, according to the EPA). Recycled materials made with only pre-consumer content certainly put less pressure on forests, but don’t do as much to reduce consumption or waste. 

You also want to avoid products that have been coated in BPA in the manufacturing process (most recycled products have been). Look for BPA-free products when shopping for this category of toilet paper. 

Our Research Process

We started our research process by reading one of the most widely respected and distributed research papers examining the toilet paper industry—The Issue with the Tissue, conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Counsel and Stand.earth. 

That gave us an understanding of what to look for when considering sustainable toilet paper, which materials one might prefer over another, and it also gave us a few brands to start researching. 

After doing more research about the materials commonly used in eco-friendly toilet paper, we researched the various merits behind recycled paper and bamboo. 

We were then able to turn to the brands in the eco-friendly toilet paper space. Our favorite options ended up being recycled paper brands, but we found great bamboo toilet paper brands, too. To make our selections, we considered any certifications the brands held, whether they packaged their products with recycled materials, and generally how much their customers liked the products. We also gave more favorable consideration to brands that participated in any particularly meaningful sustainability programs, like becoming a certified B Corp or carbon neutral. 

In the end, we considered the following brands: 

  1. Who Gives a Crap
  2. Marcal
  3. Scott
  4. Clear Rear
  5. Cloud Papers
  6. Cheeky Panda
  7. Bim Bam Boo
  8. Seek Bamboo
  9. No. 2
  10. Pure Planet
  11. Natural Value
  12. Bumboo
  13. Caboo Bamboo
  14. Vitacost
  15. Plant Paper
  16. Reel
  17. Smitten
  18. NooTrees
  19. Silkn’ Soft
  20. Ecos
  21. Seventh Generation
  22. Whole Foods 365
  23. Trader Joe’s
  24. Green Forest
  25. Reliance
  26. Georgia Pacific
  27. Aria

Read more about our sustainable and eco-friendly home good picks here

Sources

  1. https://www.treehugger.com/eco-friendly-toilet-paper-bamboo-vs-recycled-5114452
  2. https://support.whogivesacrap.org/hc/en-au/articles/360035166774-100-Recycled-Toilet-Paper
  3. https://us.whogivesacrap.org/pages/about-us
  4. http://www.greenforestpaper.com/csr.html
  5. https://gono2.com/pages/about-us
  6. https://us.cheekypanda.com/pages/our-commitments
  7. https://heybippy.com/blogs/buttwell-a-blog-for-butts/bippy-is-certified-carbon-neutral
  8. https://cloudpaper.co/pages/impact
  9. https://reelpaper.com/pages/mission
  10. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jennifer-skene/toilet-paper-driving-climate-crisis-every-flush
  11. https://www.stand.earth/sites/default/files/StandEarth-NRDC-IssueWithTissue-Report.pdf

Moss Lane Staff

The Moss Lane Staff is comprised of seasoned content professionals who specialize in synthesizing large amounts of information and making it accessible to every day readers. This article was written and edited by multiple members of our staff to ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic.