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Zero Waste Toilet Paper – 7 Plastic-Free Alternatives Wiping Away Waste

Written by: Hendrik

Category: Zero Waste

Updated on:


Are you looking for an eco-friendly and zero-waste alternative to traditional toilet paper?

Toilet paper is one of the most significant sources of waste in our homes, creating over 1.6 billion pounds each year!

It’s time to make a change and switch to zero waste toilet paper as an eco-friendly option. Here are some of the best zero-waste alternatives and why you should consider switching to eco-friendly toilet paper.

Why make the switch to zero waste toilet paper?

Traditional toilet paper is often made from virgin trees, contributing to deforestation, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Big Think, 270,000 trees are flushed down the toilet worldwide daily.

Almost 2 million trees are cut down daily to meet global toilet paper demand

Environmental journal

In the US alone, 15 million trees are used yearly for toilet paper, which equals 36.5 billion toilet rolls used yearly, according to the scientific American.

Additionally, it takes up to 473,587,500,000 gallons of water and 253,000 tons of chlorine bleach to make all that toilet paper. Yikes.

And then there is electricity, packaging and transport which all adds up.

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly toilet paper options available, such as those made from bamboo or recycled paper, that can help us reduce waste and protect our natural resources.

Reusable options like bidets also provide a more sustainable and hygienic alternative to traditional toilet paper use.

Just like we wash our hands after they get dirty, using water to clean ourselves after using the bathroom is a cleaner and more eco-friendly option than regular toilet paper. So let’s explore some of the eco friendly toilet paper options out there.

The best Eco-Friendly and Zero Waste Toilet Paper Options

If you’re hoping to reduce or eliminate your carbon footprint even more by drastically cutting out disposable toilet paper, we got you. There are many brands that are wiping away the waste with toilet paper using recycled paper or other sustainable alternatives to toilet paper.

These companies use bamboo from FSC-certified farms and little to no chemicals in the process.

Related: Is Bamboo fabric sustainable or are we being greenwashed?


Bamboo Toilet Paper or Tree-free Toilet Paper

Bamboo is a highly sustainable resource that grows quickly and easily and doesn’t require a lot of land or water to produce. Plus, it’s incredibly soft and durable, making it an excellent choice for your bathroom needs.

The best part? Bamboo toilet paper doesn’t require harsh chemicals. It is turned into pulp, heated, and pressed into sheets. Here most companies use hydrogen peroxide or chlorine-free methods to clean and bleach the bamboo fibers, these are later cut into the desired shape for toilet rolls.

The process of bleaching not only makes the paper white, but it also softens it.

But, like anything else, bamboo toilet paper must still be transported and packaged.

Two key elements to look out for;

  • Even harvesting bamboo can be unsustainable, so make sure the company is using FSC-certified bamboo farms.
  • Secondly, the bleaching of bamboo can be done in an environmentally clean way by using elementally chlorine-free bleach. Or choose a company like Naked Sprout that uses no bleach at all.

Is bamboo toilet paper septic safe?

Yes. Since bamboo is a grass and doesn’t require any chemicals, you can safely flush it down without worrying about your septic systems clogging up. The paper waste will biodegrade just fine.

zero waste toilet paper

Naked Sprout

Get 15% Off With Code 15ZWM

This is a bamboo unbleached toilet paper company from England. Even in bamboo toilet paper, you will find that some companies still use bleach. Your best bet is to buy unbleached toilet paper if you want to have the least impact on the environment.

Naked Sprout has a range of unbleached toilet paper and tissues.

  • Free delivery – 2 working days

  • FSC-certified sustainable bamboo

  • No bleach, scents, plastic or nasty chemicals

  • Same cost per sheet as leading brands

  • Double-length rolls, 320 sheets, Soft 2-ply

  • 100% money-back guarantee

  • 24, 48 and 96 roll options are available

  • Every box sold gives a child in Kenya safe water at school
image: reel


Reel is another excellent solution to zero waste in toilet paper usage. The company makes high-quality bamboo toilet paper rolls for that extra soft wipe.

It comes, of course, plastic-free and without the use of any dyes, inks or BPA.

  • Forty-eight mega rolls in each box.

  • Three hundred sheets per toilet paper roll.

  • 3-ply toilet tissue for extra comfort.

  • Bathroom tissue is conveniently delivered to your door.

  • Free Shipping on subscription orders in the Contiguous United States.

  • Hassle-Free subscription. Cancel anytime.

20% on new subscriptions and first-time purchases.


Bumboo as the name says, is another toilet paper alternative made from bamboo. This UK-based business has created this environmentally friendly toilet paper to slow down deforestation, and this is also the reason why they plant a tree for each box sold.

  • Beautifully soft, 100% bamboo tissue

  • 100% plastic-free packaging

  • Buy One Plant One – a tree planted for each box purchased 

  • Extra long, triple-ply rolls with 300 sheets/ 30 metres per roll (to reduce inner core wastage and transport related carbon emissions)

  • FSC® certified (100%)

  • Free from de-inking agents, formaldehyde and BPA associated with the paper recycling process

  • Free from pesticides and fertilizers, scents and dyes

  • Fully recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packaging, printed using soy based inks

Recycled Toilet Paper.

Recycled toilet paper is a great alternative to conventional toilet paper as it doesn’t require any trees to be harvested since the paper is already in production.

who gives a crap

Who gives a crap

In my review about who gives a crap, I laid out the two great options they are selling.

  1. recycled toilet paper (cheaper)

  2. bamboo toilet paper (premium bamboo toilet paper)

Who gives a crap sets the example for companies leading environmental impact to new solutions. Yes, they are manufacturing their toilet paper in china, and according to this article, it is responsibly made.

They are individually wrapped, but all come wrapped in paper that you can use as a gift wrap or for any other creative endeavors.

Even better, if you buy in bulk, you save big o their zero waste toilet paper. The best value is buying 48 rolls from 100% recycled toilet paper for $60.

  • Our eco-friendliest rolls, soft and crunchable

  • Double-length rolls; 400 sheets

  • Super comfy three ply

  • 100% recycled paper (no virgin trees used!)

  • Biodegradable and plays well with most septic tanks

  • Carbon neutral shipping

What can I use instead of toilet paper?

Other zero-waste alternatives are also available if you don’t want to switch to a more traditional sustainable toilet paper option!

Reusable Toilet Paper

Net Zero Company makes some beautiful cotton-based reusable toilet paper rolls that they sell in a 24 roll. for 24.99

However, I would argue that this is not a hygienic method to clean your behinds and according to this article on Lifehacker I would stay away from reusable cloths to wipe your bum and here is why:

  • First of all, you need a sealed hamper, and you have to wash your reusable TP separately from your regular washing, meaning you end up with more water.
  • What if you have friends for guests who come over, and they are not used to this method?

Your best bet is to have some rolls of eco friendly toilet paper available for them.

I think it is suitable to use this method while drying yourself after using a bidet. However, I would not suggest relying on this method alone for wiping.


Whisper Bidet’s eco eco-friendly alternative to toilet paper

Another popular option is a bidet attachment like the one from Whisper Bidet. These attachments allow you to use water instead of toilet paper. They are easy to install on your used toilet seat and allow the most hygienic experience.

If you are not used to spraying water up your bum, they might take a little bit to get used to, but I can say from experience that this is the most refreshing method to clean your behind.

But what happens after you have cleaned your bum with water?

This is where in my opinion, you have room for reusable cloths and paper towels, but only to wipe yourself dry.

Living in Canada or other cold regions, the water used in bidets can sometimes be very cold. However, on the bright side, the shock of the cold water might wake you up enough that you won’t need your morning coffee.

travel bidet

Travel bidet

Yes, that is a thing. You may have never seen such a device and I can’t blame you because they can look confusing. But this is the most cost-effective and easy-to-use travel bidet that you can currently buy for $10. GOSpa bidet.

If you prefer a device that has a bit more power but sounds like a toothbrush, then this would be your device on the picture above.

Mighty rock travel bidet.

All over, these are great little devices to stay fresh and clean when you are on the move.

hose attachement

Hose attachment for your toilet.

You will see this a lot in Asia, and we loved it so much that I installed one in our toilet.

It comes in at only $25; all you have to do is turn off the water and attach it to your toilet inlet. It is super easy to do and another great alternative for toilet paper.

Depending on the water pressure from your house, this may need some time to get used to as you can adjust the pressure by how hard you pull the lever. But this is probably the most inexpensive way to have a bidet-like experience.

Final Thoughts:

There are several countries where toilet paper is not commonly used. In some parts of India, people use a jug and water to clean themselves after using the toilet.

In China, toilet paper may not be provided in public restrooms, and people may use water or a combination of water and toilet paper in rural areas.

In many Muslim countries, it is common to use water and a small jug or hose to clean oneself after using the toilet. Japan uses a combination of water and a small towel called a “tenugui” for personal hygiene after using the toilet, and bidets are commonly used in some parts of Europe, such as Greece and Italy.

It’s worth noting that even in these countries, some people still use toilet paper. However, many people prefer the alternatives mentioned above. Additionally, some of these countries are beginning to adopt toilet paper as a more common method of personal hygiene.

Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

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