Is Recycled Toilet Paper Bad For You?

We all want to do our best to protect this beautiful planet we live on, and the choices we make as consumers are a huge part of that. Making simple switches, such as buying recycled toilet paper or plastic-free toilet paper, is a great way to make an impact with minimal effort. But what do we really know about recycled toilet paper? Let’s have a look at some of the basic facts around recycled toilet paper and debunk a few myths in the process.

1 - What is recycled toilet paper made from?

Despite popular myth, recycled toilet paper is not actually made from loo roll that has been used before! It’s created from post-consumer recycled content (PCR), in other words, recycled office paper, old stationery and newspaper.

2 - How is recycled toilet paper made?

Recycled toilet paper is manufactured from large bales of recycled paper, which are processed through a pulping machine. The paper is mixed with water to form a pulp, then goes through a process to remove the ink. The pulp is injected with air, which makes the ink rise to the top, then it is skimmed off and removed. The pulp then has the water squeezed out by passing it through rollers. Next, it may go through a bleaching process to make it whiter and cleaner (see point number three below). After that, it is spread out on a flat screen and run through a dryer. After drying to a thin paper, the product is embossed and rolls of it are pressed together to make multiple-ply recycled toilet paper.

paper pulp making

3 - Is recycled toilet paper bleached?

Yes, sometimes recycled toilet paper goes through a bleaching process after it has been dried. This is to remove the grey color from the pulp and make it clean and white. If the paper is not bleached the toilet paper rolls will be a grey color and can turn a brown/yellow color over time.

4 - Is recycled toilet paper better for the environment?

Yes, absolutely! Every day 27,000 trees are cut down just to make regular toilet paper, so by opting for recycled toilet paper you’re helping to reduce deforestation. Trees that are saved from being cut down for toilet paper and other disposable products can be left in place to produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and gases, and provide natural habitats for our animal friends.

reuse toilet paper tubes

5 - Is recycled toilet paper expensive?

Recycled toilet paper can be slightly more expensive than conventional toilet paper. However, it’s worth spending a little extra money to purchase a product that is kinder to the environment. Plus, if you buy recycled toilet paper in bulk it helps cut down the cost considerably.

6 - Is recycled paper bad for you?

Some brands of recycled toilet paper can sometimes contain small amounts of BPA. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology found trace amounts of BPA (an endocrine disrupter) in some recycled paper products, including toilet paper. However, although there’s a slight risk of BPA exposure with some brands, it’s still a better option as it helps preserve trees, protect animal habitats, keeps water clean and saves on energy.

7 - Is recycled toilet paper hard or soft?

When recycled toilet paper first came out on the market it didn’t have the best reputation for softness, strength or quality. However, products are improving all the time and many types of recycled toilet paper stand up to the test – the key is to purchase products from eco-friendly brands that focus on quality as well as being more environmentally conscious.

8 - Where can I buy recycled toilet paper?

Most supermarkets and large stores now stock a wide range of recycled toilet paper, from basic ‘home brand’ styles to higher quality brands. By far the best, easiest and cheapest way to purchase recycled toilet paper is to buy it from eco-friendly bathroom product suppliers, who specialize in environmentally friendly products and practices, and focus on creating the softest, strongest toilet paper possible.

white toilet rolls

9 - What’s the difference between recycled toilet paper and bamboo toilet paper?

Bamboo toilet paper is made from renewable bamboo, which is the fastest-growing plant on the planet, and the most renewable source of material available. Our tree-free toilet paper is 100% plastic free as well as being BPA-free, septic-safe, recyclable and biodegradable. It’s considered a more eco-friendly option and is more expensive to make, so generally has a higher price tag, but rest assured that both bamboo toilet paper and recycled toilet paper are great choices for the planet. 

10 - Should I hang my recycled toilet paper over or under the roll?

Ah, the age-old question and the subject of many household arguments! Perforated toilet paper was invented by Seth Wheeler in 1871. He re-patented his invention in roll form 20 years later, and his patent application includes detailed diagrams that show the paper going up and over the roll. So, if you’re placing your toilet paper with the overhang going over the roll, then you’re using it as the original inventor intended.

While at Pure Planet Club we don’t currently stock recycled toilet paper, you can purchase a box of 36 rolls of our tree-free bamboo toilet paper as one-off option, or you can also set up a handy subscription so your environmentally friendly eco toilet paper is delivered directly to your doorstep – plus you’ll get 10% off each carton. Just set and forget, all from the comfort of your home. We are always adding new products to our range too so watch this space and sign up for our newsletter to be first in the know.

Did you know? A mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year. In one year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by the average car's annual mileage. For more awesome facts about trees, visit 10 Million Trees.