Zero Waste Toilet Paper – 7 Plastic Free Alternatives Wiping Away Waste
If you’re pursuing the lofty-lifestyle goal of zero waste, eventually you’ll have to confront the least favored challenge – toilet waste.
The very nature of the toilet involves a lot of waste, after all.
So, what to do about the doo?
We’re going to get down and dirty and talk sustainable butts and zero waste toilet paper. Believe it or not, there are more options than you might think.
Like Who Gives a Crap two tree and plastic free toilet paper options to wipe less wastefully.
Or if you identify as brave of heart (and bum) you can try a truly zero waste toilet paper in the form of reusable cloth toilet paper by Marley’s Monsters.
To learn more about why we need to think about our wiping habits, jump to the bottom (pun definitely intended) of this article.
*This post contains affiliate links
1. WHO GIVES A CRAP
Who Gives A Crap’s Plastic Free Recycled Toilet Paper
Admittedly, plastic free recycled toilet paper sounds pretty gross.
Fear not, this isn’t toilet paper made from used toilet paper, but instead from pre and post-consumer recycled paper products. Which can be contrasted to the 98% of TP made from virgin tree pulp.
While technically recycled fibers are shorter (and thus courser) than virgin fibers, we forget that “luxury ultra soft” papers are not natural, good for the earth, or our septic systems.
Who Gives A Crap’s recycled zero waste toilet paper is still soft on the bum, but softer still on our plumbing and the planet.
It’s not only 100% recycled but free of dyes and perfumes and, at 3-ply, strong enough to handle the most enthusiastic of wipers.
If you still can’t get over the “recycled” bit for your bits, they also make bamboo toilet paper.
They also come in huge economical boxes which prevent shipping emissions.
About Who Gives a Crap
Who Gives A Crap really does give a crap, about providing cheap plastic free toilet paper and doing good in the world.
They’re a Certified B-Corp and donate a whopping 50% of their profits to help build toilets for the 2 billion people globally who do not have access to them.
Their TP is ethically made in China, where the materials are locally sourced.
Available: Who Gives a Crap
2. CLOUD PAPER
Cloud Paper’s Plastic Free 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.day.
And while those trees take decades to regrow, bamboo hits maturity in only 3-4 months, making it far more sustainable.
Bamboo can also be harvested without killing the plant itself, which in turn reduces soil erosion, and produced 35% more oxygen than trees while regrowing.
Without the sustainability hangups facing bamboo fabric, sustainably sourced bamboo (from areas unrelated to endangered pandas), is the future of the bathroom.
It’s what makes-up the entirety of the eco friendly toilet paper offered by Cloud Paper.
Both the Basic 2-ply and Premium 3-ply rolls are soft and strong, whitened without chlorine bleach, and absent scents, dyes, pesticides, and BPA.
The roll wrapping is compostable and even the inner adhesive strip is cornstarch-based.
While they only offer subscriptions, options to delay or cancel anytime make it as easy as popping down to the market.
About Cloud Paper
On a mission to #FreeTheTrees, Cloud Paper uses bamboo from FSC-certified family farms in Asia.
The Premium rolls are manufactured there as well, while the Basic rolls are USA-made.
Not only is packaging and shipping plastic free but also ‘carbon neutral plus’.
We say “plus” because they offset twice the emissions created by every order and do not offer expedited shipping to curb further waste.
No wonder they received the highest score possible for bamboo toilet paper from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Through a partnership with Food Lifeline, they donate rolls of their zero waste toilet paper to local food banks and shelters.
Available: Cloud Paper
3. WHISPER BIDET
Whisper Bidet’s Zero Waste Toilet Paper Alternative
You know that weird second toilet found in many hotels around the world?
They’re actually a fant-ass-tic zero waste toilet paper alternative.
Granted, this is not a zero waste office suggestion as bidets get a bad rap in western societies (they shoot what, where?!) but they’re really common in many eastern and European cultures and are actually cleaner than your normal practice of wiping.
Proponents of the bidet do admit they don’t always get everything but they get close, making them a great primary cleaner to then pair with a minimal amount of eco-friendly toilet paper or family cloth.
Yes, but the installation is a pain in the proverbial, you say?
Try again. Modern technology has made them easy to obtain and install.
The Whisper Bidet attachment serves as an easy upgrade to your existing toilet; no porcelain, extra electricity, or plumber necessary.
And considering America could save 3.6 billion gallons of water a day by swapping for one, it makes a lot of waste-free sense.
As they (er, we) say: a bidet a day keeps the waste away!
About Whisper Bidet
After founder Chad O’Connell discovered the magic of the bidet after 28 years of the “necessary evil” (i.e. wiping), he founded Whisper Bidet and never again wiped.
As Whisper writes:
“It all starts with an open mind and a clean butt.”
With features like pressure control, self-cleaning mode, spray shield, and an antimicrobial body, the Whisper Bidet is intentionally designed for comfort and longevity so it’ll last a lifetime.
Available: Whisper Bidet
Reel’s Zero Waste Lifestyle Toilet Paper
Reel is another one of the zero waste toilet paper brands jumping on the bamboo loo train.
Their 100% bamboo toilet paper is free from all BPA, inks, dyes, fragrances, and chlorine bleach.
The paper itself is certified “ready biodegradable” and the individual wrapping is safe for your indoor compost bin.
Whether you’re trying it out one-time or a lifer (aka subscriber), the rolls come in boxes of 24, packaged in recycled cardboard, and shipped carbon neutral.
From tree free toiler paper to recycled paper towels, Reel is out to doo doo some good.
A large part of their mission is providing safe, sanitary bathroom services for communities without, especially since co-founder Derin Oyekan grew up in Lagos where these services were few.
By partnering with SOIL in Haiti, they build toilets and remove harmful waste buildup, which then gets treated and turned into compost for local farmers and reforestation projects.
This California-based brand sources bamboo in China and manufactures abroad as well. We’ll reach out to learn the specifics.
5. ORGANIC CRAFT STORE
Organic Craft Store’s Zero Waste Cloth Toilet Paper
When you live as near to the zero waste event horizon as possible what do you use as toilet paper?
It’s not as unsanitary as it sounds!
In a literal sense, the best zero waste toilet paper involves zero flushing besides your own organic matter.
Organic Craft Store provides a solution should you choose to ditch the disposables for your doo doo altogether.
Their zero waste cloth toilet paper (AKA reusable or family cloths) is made from 100% high-quality, hypoallergenic cotton that’s pre-washed with non-biological detergents.
Use one rag per potty then toss it in a sealed, waterproof “wet bag”.
When you start to run low on clean cloths, toss the wet bag and contents in the washing machine, washing on hot to positively disinfect all pathogens.
That said, if you don’t have a washing machine, then we’d suggest you skip this plastic free toilet paper alternative as it’s necessary to properly sanitize for reuse.
Cared for properly, these reusable toilet paper rolls will last 3-5 years with regular (again, pun intended) use, saving you a crapload of money on traditional TP.
This is the best plastic free toilet paper for those on a budget.
About Organic Craft Store
Organic Craft Store values the same things we do: sustainable fabrics, low waste lifestyles, and happy people living in a happy world.
And their motto resonates with us: “Caring for ourselves is caring for nature.”
Liland is the brand’s owner, designer, and visionary. She’s a registered nurse, too, so you can be sure that her products are sanitary, hygienic, and healthy.
OCS is located in Europe but they ship worldwide via Etsy’s carbon neutral shipping.
6. MARLEY’S MONSTERS
Marley’s Monsters’ Zero Waste Cloth Toilet Paper
Now that you’ve stopped losing your s*** over the first mention of reusable toilet paper, we’re back at it with Marley’s Monsters.
As with their reusable paper towels, the UNpaper Rolls are made from 100% soft cotton flannel and are for those who want to be sustainable but still like the traditional “luxury soft” ala 3-ply.
One roll comes with 24 pieces that you can rewrap around the compostable cardboard center for each reuse (or just toss them in a basket).
The edges features extra durable full wrap stitching so feel free to embrace your small bladder (if you have one).
About Marley’s Monsters
Not only one of the best zero waste toilet paper brands, Oregon-based Marley’s Monsters is one of the best zero waste online stores, period.
Their zero waste products includes everything from reusable paper alternatives to bath and beauty products.
The BRING-certified brand began when Sarah Dooley created a stuffed monster for her soon-to-be-born daughter.
The fun fabric crafting really took off and now Marley’s Monsters sells globally and has its own brick-and-mortar store.
They also use entirely plastic free shipping materials and donate textile waste to recycling nonprofits.
7. PURE PLANET CLUB
Pure Planet Club’s Zero Waste Lifestyle Toilet Paper
Tree free toiler paper brand, Pure Planet Club uses sustainable bamboo whitened using elemental-free chlorine bleach.
This chlorine dioxide whitening solution is ten times more soluble than regular chlorine.
You won’t find any BPA in this septic-safe paper, either.
Each zero waste toilet paper roll comes individually wrapped in compostable tissue paper with quirky designs and shipped entirely plastic free.
About Pure Planet Club
Pure Planet Club is a specialized zero waste toilet paper brand, but have recently expanded their product lineup with the addition of a zero waste lip balm.
As the most frequently used household product, they consider a swap for zero waste TP as one of the smallest changes you can make to have the biggest impact.
All bamboo used comes from sustainably-managed sources in Asia.
To keep the supply chain localized, they also manufacture here, working closely with their partners to ensure fair labor standards are upheld.
Available: Pure Planet Club
WHY PLASTIC FREE TOILET PAPER MATTERS?
Did you know the average person actually spends 3 years of their life on the toilet?
The fact is, we all poop.
And everybody needs to clean their bottom to maintain basic health and hygiene, no matter how dedicated to the zero-waste cause you are.
The problem is traditional toilet paper is incredibly wasteful.
Not only is toilet paper itself a waste product, ending up in sewers and landfills, but the process used to make it is also incredibly wasteful, consuming 37 gallons of water, 1.5 pounds of wood, and 1/3kWh of electricity to produce just one small roll.
And let’s not forget the fact that we use chlorinated bleach to whiten the paper too, using 253,000 tons per year.
Toilet paper often comes wrapped in soft plastic which has a lowly recycling rate.
So is toilet paper zero waste?
Traditionally no, but it can be.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE TOILET PAPER
Can toilet paper be zero waste?
As sure as everybody poops, it can.
Have we helped wipe away some of your misgivings and misconceptions about zero-waste toilet paper?
Talking about our bathroom breaks is a little icky, yes, but implementing sustainable change?
We don’t think so.
If the zero waste toilet paper thing still makes you cringe though, try some other zero waste bathroom swops to begin with.
In the meantime, be conscious about the number of sheets you use by cutting down your ply amount. Besides, the average person uses a whopping 57 sheets per day, can you improve on that?
Get creative, sort of.