5 Earth Safe Toilet Paper Brands

October 11, 2011 13 comments View all articles in Home

Americans use 26 billion rolls of toilet paper each year. Old-growth forest destruction aside, toilet paper manufacturing plants have recently been under fire for mercury and dioxin pollution. In addition, the same chemical found in reusable water bottles and ceramic dental fillers, bisphenol A, as well as three other chemical compounds that mimic female sex hormones, are used in toilet paper production. This means TP is a significant source of estrogenic emissions to wastewater, which not only contaminates farmers' fields, but American municipalities as well.

If every US household switched one, 500-sheet roll of virgin bleached toilet paper with a roll of 100 percent recycled toilet paper, they'd be saving more than 423,000 trees. Depending on the brand of recycled TP, this switch could also be eliminating chlorine gas and emitting fewer dioxins into the environment.

To help you make the switch, here are some trusted toilet paper brands to choose from.

  • Seventh Generation: Seventh Generation is the leading manufacturer of 100 percent recycled, chlorine-free-processed toilet paper and facial tissues. By purchasing Seventh Generation's soft, recycled, and hypoallergenic Bath Tissue, you're reducing the need for virgin wood pulp and leaving more trees standing. According to their site, if every US household replaced one 12-pack of 300-sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissue with Seventh Generation's recycled toilet paper, we would be saving nearly 2 million trees, 690 million gallons of water, and 4.8 million cubic feet of landfill space. Find Seventh Generation products on their webpage, online, or at your local health store.
  • Marcal: Marcal's recycled, hypoallergenic, and lint-free toilet tissue is made from 100 percent premium recycled paper, is manufactured without chlorine bleaching, and is processed without dyes or fragrances. In addition, each role's inner core (or tube) is also composed of recycled paper. Marcal's website also has a calculator function that enables visitors to see how many trees they could save by using Marcal bath tissue, based on the size of their household, classroom, office, etc. How cool is that?! Use the store locator on Marcal's webpage or find their products here.
  • Green Forest: According to its website, Green Forest delivers one of the highest post-consumer recycled content of any brand, with a minimum of 90 percent. The Green Forest brand is also the most economical for purchase, as it offers the greatest value for sheet size and sheet count. Like the previous brands mentioned, Green Forest paper products are also whitened without the use of chlorine, qualifying the brand as Processed Chlorine Free (PCF). Find Green Forest paper products online here
  • Cascades: Cascades Enviro Premium bathroom tissue is made with 100 percent recycled fibers, produced with 80 percent less water than the industry average, dried with natural gas, bleached without chlorine, and packaged with recyclable recycled plastic. Cascades products are available at Costco, Walmart, Safeway, and other well-known US and Canadian retailers.
  • Scott Naturals: To make a more gradual green step, try Scott Naturals Tissue, which is made with 40 percent recycled fiber. According to their website, the lower percentage of recycled content allows users to be eco-conscious without sacrificing quality. Scott also offers a Natural, Tube-Free bath tissue variety! Find Scott Naturals products at Walmart, K Mart, or online at Drugstore.com.


Arabela Arcinue on March 12, 2013 at 1:38 a.m.

But many say that BPA is used in recycling toilet paper and other kinds of paper, and this synthetic estrogen will cause cancer if absorbed by the body thru the skin! Why do manufacturers of recycled paper use BPA, anyway? We consumers are soooo confused on what TP to use!

Babs on June 3, 2015 at 7:31 a.m.

I don't believe that BPA is used in the processing, but that it gets into the recycled fibers. BPA is in thermal paper receipts (the receipt paper used pretty much everywhere today) and when people put those receipts in with their paper recycling, they get processed just like anything else and that is what is believed to be causing the BPA contamination in recycled paper products. Thermal paper containing BPA should be banned, but since that hasn't happened yet, you can reduce your BPA exposure by not taking your receipt when you don't really need one and when you're discarding receipts, do so in your normal trash (rip it up, of course, and wash your hands afterwards). In winter months (when a person can wear gloves), I always put my gloves on before the cashier hands me my receipt (if I really need one) and I have a special compartment in my purse to put them so they stay away from everything else in my purse suspecting that BPA particles could get on other things.

D on March 5, 2016 at 9:15 p.m.

Do any of the above 5 brands say they are BPA-free?

Laura on May 17, 2016 at 2:55 p.m.

What I heard is that recycled toilet paper has mercury in it and our bodies absorb it.

keith on June 1, 2016 at 2:32 p.m.

I heard charmin is one that does not use mercury to disinfect the recycled paper. Was hoping to find more about this somewhere.

Jaclyn on June 14, 2016 at 12:13 p.m.

It is absolutely true that recycled toilet paper often contains BPA. It is also impossible to call recycled toilet paper totally chlorine free because you can't confirm if the paper from the recycling stream was bleached with chlorine originally. The only solution to this is Tree-Free toilet paper which is made from agricultural fiber (a traditionally wasted material that is burned to be discarded). Because it contains no recycled content it is truly BPA free and can be processed chlorine free. Check out Emerald Brand for a great option

David Stanley on June 29, 2016 at 7:43 p.m.

Toilet Paper is Toxic! No surprise there somehow but there is a simple and brilliant solution = get a Hand Bidet Sprayer and you can wash with water instead of wiping which is really not very hygienic. Far cleaner, healthier, saves money and it's also better for the environment.

Jim on July 28, 2016 at 5:05 a.m.

Have several packages of 'green Charmin' toilet tissue. Is the dye in this product safe to use? Is it safe to use today?

Alice on Nov. 15, 2016 at 5:24 p.m.

Does anybody know about any toilet paper/paper towel which is really CHEMICAL FREE???? The above brands are full of chemicals due the original "material" used. Also, straw made is not a good solution FULL OF MONSANTO'S GLYPHOSPHATE!!! Bidet outside of home is not my solution. Please, help. Thank you.

Tori on Feb. 27, 2017 at 10:58 p.m.

I've been buying bamboo toilet paper, zero trees involved, septic friendly. 12 rolls for 8$ at Safeway...Waiting on a reply regarding their toxicity but so far no red flags! Research it on their website: trueearthpaper.com

Beth Wright on March 23, 2017 at 8:06 p.m.

Yes, but the bamboo toilet paper is likely shipped here from China by container ship, a very long journey fueled by petroleum products, presumably marine diesel. Thus, it's probably not all that sustainable.

Roger Stillwater on April 5, 2017 at 11 a.m.

Recylced toilet paper contains BPA, which is not a good idea for mucus membranes (anus and vagina). So this is an option to be avoided. Total chlorine free (TCF) is desirable, but the only options are toilet papers manufactured in China. This is not great because 1) the manufacturing jobs are Chinese not American, 2) how environmentally friendly can this be if it has to be shipped across the Pacific Ocean 3) can we trust that the Chinese don't use nasty chemicals in their manufacturing process (they don't have a great rep).

Judy on April 12, 2017 at 12:18 p.m.

toilet paper causes an itch only relieved by bathing. Possible culprits are bleach and formaldehyde. The latter used to hold the fibers together so thinner, cheaper paper is desirable. Hydrogen peroxide is an alternative to bleach.

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