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Regular vs. Recycled Toilet Paper

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Regular vs. Recycled Toilet Paper

by Steve Graham, Networx

If every American family replaced one regular toilet paper roll with recycled paper, we would save 420,000 trees, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. But many people won’t pay extra for recycled brands, particularly if they don’t think it works as well.

We’re here to confirm that it does work, and there’s not much difference between recycled brands. However, you will have to sacrifice some softness and quality if you are used to the premium stuff.

Experiential Test Results

The NRDC lists 17 brands of 100-percent recycled toilet paper. The group only compares the environmental qualities of the brands, but we wanted to put recycled toilet paper to real-world tests. My wife and I have been using three brands of recycled toilet paper, alongside two types of regular toilet paper with virgin fiber.

In blind tests, neither of us could tell any difference between three widely available recycled brands — Whole Foods 365, Seventh Generation and Natural Value. However, all the brands were softer and performed better than a cheaper generic brand, Valu Time. On the other hand, none of the other brands could stand up to the premium-priced toilet paper, “squeezably soft” Charmin.

Image credit: macaron*macaron (Est Bleu2007)

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Read more: Bed & Bath, Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Crafts & Design, Green Home Decor, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse,

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231 comments

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5:08AM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

thank you for sharing

11:13PM PST on Nov 7, 2013

great info! thanks for sharing!

11:46AM PST on Jan 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

12:23PM PST on Nov 13, 2012

One brand of green toilet paper that I have been using is Bum Boosa. Instead of being made from trees, it is made from bamboo, which is a lot more sustainable. The toilet paper is made from 100% bamboo processed with the mechanical pulping method. It is tree-free, biodegradable, BPA-free, elemental chlorine-free and it breaks down quickly. Even the packaging is made from recycled paper. I find that it is really soft and the paper is thick, so it doesn’t tear easily. The best part is that they plant a tree for every 4 rolls sold.
Check them out at http://bumboosabambooproducts.com/shop/index.php?cPath=4

2:19AM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

Thanks for sharing

9:56AM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

I tend to prefer low cost over fanciness, hence I use single ply store brand or recycled a lot and avoid the overpriced multi ply stuff. I grade more by efficiency of cleaning than perceived 'softness'. Only thing I outright despise is the idea of going back to corn cobs...

3:01PM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Okay. I'm the dissenting vote here! I've tried every recycled toilet paper we have available here in Alaska and have been UNIMPRESSED!! I have reluctantly gone back to Charmin. SORRY!!

6:14PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Recycled? reused? just old news paper.We used that years ago it hung on a bit of string from a nail,in the dunny.

12:36PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Recycled bog roll is the boss

7:10AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

Always recycled toilet paper.
Jane R. recycled toilet paper is not made from used toilet paper.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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