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Ethical Toilet Paper

Finding ethical and eco-friendly toilet paper: ratings for 20 toilet paper brands, with recommended buys and what to avoid.

We rate the major toilet paper brands as well as smaller eco friendly brands, look at deforestation, bleach and toxic chemicals, recycled paper and FSC labelling, and ask is bamboo toilet paper really eco friendly? 

About Ethical Consumer

This is a shopping guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

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What to buy

What to look for when buying toilet paper:

  • Is it recycled? Recycled paper is far more sustainable than virgin pulp. Choose this over other options.

  • Is it made from alternative fibres? Fibres such as bamboo, if responsibly sourced, are more sustainable than virgin pulp. For bamboo, look for the FSC stamp.

  • Is it plastic-free? Choose a company that’s plastic-free, and go for loo roll with no individual wrapping.


Subscribe to see which companies we recommend as Best Buys and why 

What not to buy

What to avoid when buying toilet roll:

  • Is it made from virgin wood pulp? If it carries the label “FSC Mix” then it will include virgin wood pulp. There is no need to cut down forests to make toilet roll.


  • Is it whitened? Avoid whitened toilet paper as it uses more bleach and opt for paper that is bleached with a Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) process.

Subscribe to see which companies to avoid and why

Score table

Updated live from our research database

← Swipe left / right to view table contents →
Brand Score(out of 100) Ratings Categories

Our Analysis

Is there an ethical toilet paper?

With one very well-known brand languishing at the bottom of the score table, and a cluster of recommended brands scoring highly, our choice of toilet paper can make a difference ethically and environmentally, especially as we use so much of the stuff.

We have added an update to the guide following the Which? report on materials found in some bamboo toilet paper. Scroll down to the section on bamboo for more on this.

In our consumption of toilet paper, the UK is close to leading the world. The average Brit uses 127 rolls per year and 10,385 rolls in their lifetime. In the US, average yearly consumption is 141 rolls per person, whereas in Turkey they get by on 9 and in Nigeria a mere 1. This isn’t something to be proud of.

The pulp and paper industry as a whole is the largest global consumer of virgin wood, using about 35% of harvested trees for the manufacture of paper. It is a major contributor to deforestation and thereby to biodiversity loss, soil erosion, species extinction, and ecosystem disruptions.

It’s among the top five most energy-intensive industries and accounts for approximately 2% of direct industrial CO2 emissions.

Environmental impacts of toilet paper production

Tissue paper products account for about 8% of the paper industry, although this is increasing as rising disposable incomes and improving living standards, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, are driving growth in toilet paper use.

Across the world, forests are being cut down to feed this market, with ruinous consequences for the environment, people, and wildlife.

When we last published this guide, we reported on research by US environmental organisation, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), which showed the harmful impacts of tissue paper production on the boreal forest – the vast woodland which stretches across Alaska, Canada, northern Europe, and Russia.

The boreal forest is home to hundreds of Indigenous groups and precious wildlife and acts as a globally significant carbon sink. The research found that virgin pulp, the main ingredient for tissue, was a major driver of logging in the boreal, accounting for 23% of Canada’s forest product exports.

It criticised major tissue manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark (owner of the Andrex brand) for relying almost exclusively on virgin fibre for their tissue products and failing to invest in alternatives.

A 2020 update of the NRDC research found that clearing of the boreal was continuing at the rate of a million acres a year to create products like toilet paper and that the biggest brands continued to make their tissue products from 100% virgin fibre.

The research did find one positive development.

While the big brands hadn’t reduced their virgin fibre use, a number of smaller companies had launched new products made from recycled fibre or alternative sustainable materials. We found the same.

Since we last published this guide, there have been several new entrants to the market and we’ve added seven brands to the table, all of which are offering recycled or bamboo products. We’ve added five of these to our Best Buy list, which now has nine brands.

Recycled toilet paper

Separating the fibres to make pulp for papermaking takes far fewer resources when those fibres are recycled from recovered paper than when they’re derived directly from trees. Recycling is simply more efficient. It cuts down no trees, uses less energy and water, produces less solid waste, and diverts paper away from landfill.

According to the Environmental Paper Network’s paper calculator, tissue made from recycled content has one-third the greenhouse gas emissions of tissue fibre made from virgin wood.

As toilet paper is a disposable product, you might worry that it’s wasteful to make it from material which could otherwise be used for products which could be recycled again, such as printing paper or cardboard. It’s true that high-quality paper is best recycled into printing paper but this can only be done five or six times before the fibres become too short to make strong paper so toilet paper is a good final outing for those fibres.

For recycling to be economically viable, waste paper needs to be turned into high-value products as much as possible. Toilet paper is a higher-value product than cardboard (according to information provided by Green Stationery Company).

Recycled toilet paper by the big companies is decreasing

Given the benefits of recycled paper, you’d think companies would be using as much of it as possible. But sadly, that’s not the case and the use of recycled paper by the three big companies is decreasing.

  • According to their own reporting, in 2011 Kimberly-Clark used 29.7% recycled fibre whereas in 2021 it used only 19.3%;
  • Essity used 40% recycled fibre in 2018 and in 2022 this dropped to 36%;
  • in 2019, Sofidel used 8.9% recycled material but in 2021 only 7.3%.

The companies don’t explain the decrease.

One of the smaller companies, Nova Tissue, told us that demand for recycled paper simply isn’t there and that customers overwhelmingly want pure virgin paper. But why is this?

Toilet paper is a functional, disposable product. If it does what’s required, why should people care so much whether it’s virgin pulp or recycled paper?

The marketing of toilet paper might provide an answer.

Toilet paper packaging displays pictures of puppies and various other fluffy animals and uses words such as quilted, cushioned, velvet, luxury, and ultra soft. The result is the bizarre association of toilet paper with luxury and self-indulgence. And the expectation that wiping your bum should feel like a caress from a baby alpaca. In this context, it’s not surprising that people favour ‘virgin fibre’ with its hints of soft, snowy whiteness over the workmanlike ‘recycled’.

Through their advertising, the big toilet paper companies have the power to influence our desires and expectations. If the demand for recycled paper isn’t there, it’s the toilet paper companies who are at least in part to blame.

Certified toilet paper on the rise, but is it really sustainable?

It’s also notable that, as recycled paper use by the big companies has decreased, their use of certified paper has gone up. For example, Kimberly-Clark’s use of FSC-certified fibre has increased by 20% in the last ten years.

Schemes that certify virgin fibre as sustainable have been criticised for undermining demand for recycled paper and figures from the big brands in this guide suggest this is the case.

What do the FSC logos mean?

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) tree logo is a familiar sight on wood and paper products and many toilet paper brands carry it (see table further down). But what does it mean?

The FSC describes itself as an NGO dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.

The aim of its certification scheme is to confirm that forests are managed in ways that preserve biodiversity and benefit the lives of local people while remaining economically viable. The FSC has been subject to criticism over many years for the failings of its certification system, with multiple scandals involving certified wood coming from illegal or harmful sources.

Recently the FSC has indicated that it has taken on board some of the criticisms and is acting to address them.

There are three different FSC logos indicating different types of certification:

  • FSC 100% means that all the materials in the product are sourced from forests that have been audited by an independent third party to confirm they are managed according to FSC social and environmental standards.
  • FSC Recycled verifies the product as being made from 100% recycled content.
  • FSC Mix means that products are made using a mixture of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or FSC controlled wood. Controlled wood is not from certified forests and its production hasn’t been audited. It’s wood that is considered low risk of coming from a particularly harmful source such as an illegal logging operation or from Indigenous lands. However, the risk assessment is a paper-based process that doesn’t involve any inspections.

FSC Mix is therefore the least rigorous certification.

Most supermarket and big-brand toilet papers carry the FSC Mix label. None of them scored well and we don’t recommend any of them.

Scroll down for an update about the Which? report on bamboo toilet paper, including brands which use FSC schemes for their material sourcing.

Three different FSC logos - 100%, Mix and Recycled.

Pre- or post-consumer recycled paper?

Choose post-consumer recycled toilet paper if you can.

Recycled products can be made from pre- and post-consumer waste.

Pre-consumer waste has never been turned into a product. It refers to things like offcuts that are generated as part of the manufacturing process.

Post-consumer waste is stuff that’s been made into a product, used, and disposed of.

Unless it’s recycled, post-consumer waste is much more likely to go to landfill than pre-consumer waste which can be re-used by the original manufacturer. And in the case of paper, offcuts from virgin paper can and should be turned into higher-grade products than toilet paper.

We list the brands that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled content in the table below.

Recyclable packaging doesn't mean the toilet paper is recycled

While production of recycled toilet paper has declined, toilet paper companies are keen to emphasise other, more dubious, sustainable credentials. For example, many brands market their products by focusing on the recycled content of their plastic packaging or its recyclability (see for example, Regina, Andrex and Cushelle).

Recyclability doesn’t mean much as it puts the burden on consumers to do the work and on local authorities to pay for and provide the services. Reducing the use of virgin plastic in packaging isn’t a bad thing but it’s a distraction from the main issue which is the companies’ ongoing sourcing of virgin fibre to make a single-use disposable product.

Plastic-free toilet paper brands

Some companies are totally plastic-free, including all their packaging and tape, and we think they’re worth a mention.

They are: Bamboo Bobbi, Bazoo Bamboo, Bumboo, Greencane, Honest Supplies, Naked Sprout and Serious Tissues. Many of these also offer unpackaged products and these are the best option.

Cheeky Panda toilet paper is plastic-free but their nappies are not; Feel Good is plastic-free but its German parent company is not; and Who Gives A Crap have plastic in some of their tape but say they will be plastic-free by the end of 2023.

Picture of last sheet of toilet paper with 'Don't panic' written on it

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Bleached and unbleached toilet paper

Bleaching is used in the paper-making process to break down lignin – the substance that gives trees and bamboo their stiffness – and to whiten the end product.

In the past, chlorine was used but this has largely been replaced by other processes because of chlorine’s harmful effects.

Most paper is now bleached with chlorine dioxide in a process known as Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF). This still emits chlorine but in much smaller amounts than when elemental chlorine is used.

A small amount of paper is produced using alternatives to chlorine such as oxygen, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide. This process is known as Totally Chlorine Free (TCF).

When recycled paper is bleached without chlorine, it is known as Process Chlorine Free (PCF) because previous use of chlorine in the recovered paper can’t be ruled out.

Confusingly, some brands say they are unbleached when they mean that they are TCF. Others say they are chlorine-free and it’s not clear whether they mean ECF or TCF.

Brands which clearly stated (either on their website or by email) that they use no chlorine or chlorine dioxide are Bamboo Bobbi, Bumboo, Essential, Naked Sprout, Nova Tissue (Cushion Soft, Gentille, Soft on Nature), and Who Gives A Crap recycled paper (their bamboo paper uses chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide).

Brands which say they are chlorine-free are Bazoo, Ecoleaf (Suma), Feel Good, Greencane Honest Supplies, and Serious Tissues.

Cheeky Panda, Essity (Velvet, Cushelle) and Andrex state they are ECF.

Some brands now offer unwhitened toilet paper. These have still gone through a bleaching process but one that uses much less bleach.

Forever chemicals in toilet paper

Research published earlier this year concluded that toilet paper was potentially a major source of PFAs entering wastewater treatment systems.

PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals that possess water and grease-repelling properties and are used in thousands of consumer products. Known as 'forever chemicals' because they don’t break down in water, they can spread over long distances and are toxic to humans and wildlife, interfering with hormonal, reproductive and immune systems.

The research tested 21 toilet paper samples from all over the world and found PFAs in all of them. The researchers speculated that PFAs are not intentionally added to toilet paper but are used in the manufacturing process to prevent paper pulp from sticking to machinery.

We asked the brands in the guide whether they had a response to the research findings. Bamboo Bobbi sent a report conducted by an external lab confirming its paper contained no PFAs. Honest Supplies checked with their suppliers who confirmed they didn’t use PFAs. Essity sent a position statement saying they did not use them in their products or production processes but that the presence of trace amounts couldn’t be excluded.

Cheeky Panda told us they had submitted samples of their paper to a testing body to determine if PFAs are present. Naked Sprout said their factory doesn’t use any PFAs and that they are confident they’re not used anywhere in the supply chain but they have arranged for independent testing of their products to certify this.

The other brands didn’t respond on this issue.

Vegan toilet paper

Bazoo, Bamboo Bobbi, Bumboo, Cheeky Panda, Greencane, Naked Sprout and Who Gives A Crap all stated that they were vegan friendly, in particular they do not use animal-based glues or sticky tapes. The Cheeky Panda is registered with the Vegan Society.

Cartoon of Andrex puppy in forest
Is bamboo better than the virgin pulp of some big brands?

Is bamboo toilet paper better for the environment?

Since we last published a guide to toilet paper, there has been a growth in the number of small companies selling bamboo toilet paper. All of them tell a similar founding story, of a moment of realisation of the destructiveness of standard toilet paper and a desire to provide a more sustainable alternative.

They market their products as good for the planet and make various claims about carbon reduction, avoidance of chemicals, and soil health.

But how sustainable is bamboo for toilet paper? And is it better than recycled wood pulp?

Very little scientific work has been done directly comparing virgin tree fibre toilet paper with bamboo and recycled alternatives. Plus, there are usually many variables involved in any product’s manufacture so it pays to be sceptical about claims that one material is always more environmentally beneficial than another.

However, there is evidence to back up some of the claims made for bamboo. We’ve summarised some of the main issues below.

The bamboo plant

Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that after harvesting regrows from the same root stock. The same plant can be repeatedly harvested meaning it doesn’t have to be replanted like most trees and therefore uses less land than forests. As with any crop, it can be grown in a variety of ways, some more sustainable than others. For example, planting bamboo on land that is already degraded by agriculture or on the edge of existing farmland may be environmentally beneficial; overharvesting of natural bamboo forests is not.

When we rated bamboo toilet paper companies for their paper sourcing, we gave credit to those who sourced FSC-certified bamboo as its standards provide some guarantee against overharvesting and clearing of natural forests to grow bamboo.

Manufacturing bamboo toilet paper

It’s not enough to consider how bamboo is grown or the properties of the plant itself. Turning the crop into toilet paper involves many processes, all of which have impacts that can vary depending on how they’re done.

One study which compared various materials used to produce paper found the environmental impact of bamboo to be lower than virgin forest but higher than recycled. Research commissioned by Stella McCartney to investigate the environmental impacts of a range of fibres used in the garment industry rated bamboo behind flax and recycled pulp and ahead of cotton and virgin forest fibre. This result isn’t directly applicable to toilet paper as turning bamboo into viscose to make clothing is likely to use toxic chemicals that aren’t used in the production of paper.

Carbon impact of bamboo

We couldn’t find a reliable figure for the relative CO2 emissions of virgin wood fibre and bamboo toilet papers. According to the NRDC (authors of the boreal forest report we mentioned earlier) bamboo tissue is responsible for 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than virgin wood fibre but it wasn’t clear where this figure had come from. The Stella McCartney research found that bamboo was a mid-range performer for
climate impact, considerably ahead of worst-performing virgin wood fibre.

A reliable comparison of bamboo with recycled paper is even harder to come by, with companies making competing claims for their particular product.

How sustainable is it to transport bamboo from China to Europe?

Another issue to consider is transport. Bamboo is grown in China, whereas most recycled paper is made in the UK or Europe. You’d think that the greater distance covered by bamboo would give it a higher footprint than recycled. But there are other factors.

Naked Sprout told us that they had carried out a study on the carbon impacts of their bamboo and recycled papers and that bamboo had come out with a slightly smaller footprint. Both are made in a solar-powered factory in Spain, so production emissions are low. The bigger footprint for their recycled paper was due to the fact that their waste paper is collected mostly by small diesel trucks from kerbside locations in Spain, whereas their bamboo is shipped from China in the form of pulp which takes much less space than transporting finished rolls.

This example shows that it’s not possible to generalise about the carbon impact of a particular material and that the specifics of production matter. To add to the complexity, some argue that the collection of waste paper shouldn’t be included in the calculation of recycled paper’s carbon footprint as it would be collected and taken to landfill anyway.

So, it’s not straightforward. But overall, it looks likely that bamboo has a lower carbon footprint than virgin wood fibre and, in certain circumstances – and depending on what you count – it may perform better than recycled.

Bambook forest

Workers’ rights and bamboo: the links with China

All the bamboo in the toilet paper products we rated comes from China.

The companies all had some measures in place to protect workers’ rights and some told us they had visited production sites and satisfied themselves that workers were well treated. But it’s worth remembering that China is an oppressive regime in which there are no independent unions and freedom of association is severely limited. It’s therefore not easy to guarantee respect for workers’ rights.

Does bamboo toilet paper block your toilet?

There seems to be some concern that bamboo toilet paper blocks your toilet, but there’s no evidence that it’s any more likely to do so than wood-based toilet paper. What’s most likely to block your toilet is using too much paper of any kind. So, if you want a stress-free flush, be frugal.

Should you buy bamboo toilet paper?

Alternative fibres such as bamboo play an important role in shifting paper sourcing away from virgin wood forests.

So, in a market dominated by virgin wood fibre, we think bamboo is a good ethical option. There are risks, however, as discussed above, so it’s important to hold bamboo toilet paper companies to account for their sourcing and production.

On the whole, we found the companies we rated to be transparent about their practices and open about the steps they were taking to operate sustainably.

Are bamboo toilet rolls 100% bamboo?

In March 2024, Which? published the results of tissue sample tests it had carried out on five bamboo brands. It found that three of them – Naked Sprout, Bazoo and Bumboo – contained only small amounts of bamboo and were largely made of virgin hardwoods (mainly eucalyptus).

Which? did not claim the brands were deliberately misleading consumers but questioned the integrity of their supply chains. Naked Sprout issued a strong rebuttal of Which?’s findings and called into question the validity of the test used. Bazoo said it was investigating the issue and Bumboo said it had “identified an issue in [its] supply chain and taken swift action so this can never happen again.”

The three companies are Ethical Consumer Best Buys. We use a different ranking method to Which? which means that our ratings will sometimes differ. We assessed the companies on a range of ethical issues including workers’ rights, climate and environmental impact, and tax conduct and they scored highly. 

Brands of toilet paper in this guide

The toilet paper market in the UK is dominated by US giant Kimberly-Clark (Andrex), Swedish multinational Essity (Velvet, Cushelle) and Sofidel (Nicky, Regina) as well as the big supermarkets. Andrex is by far the most popular toilet paper brand in the UK, with nearly twice as many users as Cushelle and Tesco.

Kimberly-Clark and Essity both have annual turnovers of over £10 billion. Nicky and Regina are made by Italian company, Sofidel which, in 2021, had a turnover of £1.8 billion.

We’ve included all the big toilet paper brands in the guide but not the supermarkets. When we rated the supermarkets in 2021 they all received Ethiscores below 5. We have included Feel Good recycled toilet paper, which several supermarkets stock.

The other brands in the guide are tiny by comparison.

We’ve included 13 small brands most of which sell bamboo and recycled papers which are available from the companies’ own websites, or from some eco online retailers.

Cooperative wholesalers Essential Trading and Suma both sell own-brand recycled toilet paper.

Cheeky Panda is a British company which sells bamboo toilet paper. Who Gives A Crap is an Australian company which sells both bamboo and recycled paper. Feel Good recycled toilet paper is made in the UK (although the company is German owned) and available in Tesco, Waitrose, Booths, and Ocado and is a new addition to the guide. Also new this time are Bamboo Bobbi, Bazoo, Bumboo, Greencane, Honest Supplies, Naked Sprout, and Serious Tissues, all of which make recycled and/or bamboo toilet paper. Nova Tissue makes the Soft on Nature, Gentille and Cushion Soft brands which are available online and in local shops.

Traidcraft is no longer in the guide as it stopped trading in 2023. 

Which brands sell what type of toilet roll?

With choices of virgin or recycled wood pulp, different FSC logos, and bamboo or traditional tree fibre, working out which brands sell what can be confusing.

The table below lists the type of material used, and which brands currently sell it.

What is it made of? Brands selling this type of toilet roll
100% post-consumer recycled Honest Supplies, Naked Sprout, Serious Tissues, Who Gives A Crap
100% FSC-certified bamboo Bamboo Bobbi, Bazoo, Bumboo, Cheeky Panda, Naked Sprout, Who Gives A Crap
100% recycled (pre- and post-consumer) Ecoleaf by Suma
100% recycled (not specified whether pre- or post-consumer) Essential, Feel Good, Soft on Nature
A mix of uncertified bamboo and recycled sugarcane pulp Greencane
FSC Mix Andrex, Cushelle, Nicky, Regina, Velvet
Virgin fibre (no certification on packet)* Cushion Soft, Gentille, Soft on Nature Luxury

*Nova Tissue told us that their suppliers were FSC Mix certified for the vast majority of their virgin paper.

As noted above, FSC Mix is the least rigorous certification.

Price – switching to an ethical brand needn’t cost you more

We compared price, but it’s difficult to do so fairly because of the variety of pack sizes, ply, and sheet dimensions. Plus, some brands have different products at a range of prices. But roughly, prices ranged from 20p per 100 sheets to 45p per 100.

Cheeky Panda was the most expensive and Bamboo Bobbi also cost over 40p per 100. Some of the Best Buys and Recommended brands cost between 29p and 39p per 100. And some of the worst scoring brands like Andrex, Cushelle and Regina were also in this range so switching from the big brands to an ethical brand won’t cost you more.

All the small ethical brands offered subscription services which were cheaper or which gave an initial discount. They all had some flexibility on how often you could receive a delivery.

If you get through a lot of paper and have a lot of storage space, subscribing could be a cheap option.

How do the brands score for some of the key issues?

Paper sourcing

As the material used is critical for toilet paper, the paper sourcing policy is important. We rated toilet paper companies for their paper sourcing:

  • They got a best if they were using over 75% recycled fibre or FSC-certified bamboo.
  • They got a middle rating if they used between 50% and 75% recycled fibre and had clear, dated targets for increasing their use of recycled fibre to 75% or more.
  • Companies using at least 90% FSC-certified wood fibre and those using non-FSC-certified bamboo got middle ratings.

All of our Best Buys got best ratings.

Companies not meeting any of the above thresholds got worst ratings. These were:

Kimberly-Clark (Andrex), Essity (Velvet, Cushelle), Sofidel (Nicky, Regina) and WEPA (Feel Good).

Director pay and tax conduct

Kimberly-Clark (Andrex) and Essity (Velvet, Cushelle) lost whole marks for excessive director pay. In 2022, Kimberly-Clark’s CEO received over US$14.5 million in total compensation.

Sofidel lost half a mark as it had a turnover of more than £1 billion and did not publish its director pay rates.

WEPA (Feel Good) also lost half a mark as its UK director earned over £250,000.

Kimberly-Clark and Essity also got worst ratings for likely tax avoidance as they had subsidiaries in tax havens.

Animal Testing

Some companies sold products that are often tested on animals such as soaps and shampoos or perfumed toilet paper.

Essity, Kimberly-Clark, Sofidel and WEPA all lost whole marks for animal testing as they did not have adequate policies to ensure that their products or ingredients had not been tested on animals.

Alternatives to toilet paper

Ideas about what constitutes cleanliness are not universal.

In many countries, toilet paper isn’t commonly used and, as suggested by the quote below, many consider it uncivilised, preferring to wash with water.

"What honour is left to us when we have to take orders from a handful of traders who have not yet learned to wash their bottoms?"

A Mughal official commenting on the East India Company, taken from The Anarchy by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Feedback from our readers

We asked readers if they used any alternatives to toilet paper and 35 people responded (thank you!). 11 used water in some way, 10 used a reusable cloth that they’d either bought or made themselves and one used cut up newspaper squares – some only used their alternative for #1s but most for #1s and #2s. Others still used paper but were trying to use less or buy an ethical brand. People’s reasons for switching were mainly environment related and because they thought it was cleaner.

Sadly, we don’t have space for all the comments but below are a few of our favourites. We hope you feel inspired.

"The baby has never had a disposable wipe, so why should we? It feels decadent now to be using paper when our one-year old doesn't, and his dirty wipes just get washed. And we eat the same things!"

"I was brought up in a Sri Lankan family where the culture was to wash ourselves after opening our bowels. It was thought bad parenting to let a child have a dirty bottom as paper does not clean children or adults properly and leaves one with an 'itchy bottom' ... Using a basin is a small amount of water and there is nothing to fear and lots to learn from washing your own bottom."

"We wash our faces and bodies with water, so “cleaning” with toilet paper makes no sense, it just feels so much nicer to use water and be really, REALLY clean!"

"During the early days of Covid-19 I was probably one of the few not stressing about toilet roll shortages."


Around the world there are different ways of doing it. Most people will be familiar with bidets, and visitors to Asia may have come across the bum gun or the Japanese toilet. A jug of water and a bowl is probably the commonest and simplest approach and it’s by far the most sustainable option.

This guide appeared in Ethical Consumer Magazine 203.

Companies behind the brands

Kimberly-Clark owns Kleenex wipes and Huggies nappies as well as Andrex.

In 2022, 13 Bangladeshi workers, who were trafficked to Malaysia to work for a company that supplied Kimberly-Clark with latex gloves, filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that it had knowingly profited from the use of forced labour in its supply chain. The claimants provided evidence that the company had been aware of the forced labour for years but had failed to act to remedy the situation.

Want to know more?

If you want to find out detailed information about a company and more about its ethical rating, then click on a brand name in the Score table. 

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