Bamboo vs Recycled Toilet Paper - aGood company

Bamboo vs Recycled Toilet Paper

14 Feb 2023

The awareness of how important sustainability and eco-friendliness are has undeniably risen over the last few decades. We are becoming more and more aware of how our actions and the things we use in our everyday lives affect our beautiful planet. Many individuals and companies, like our own, are putting more effort into being eco-friendly and sustainable- which basically means not harming the environment and fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations. And that is great news, but there is still a lot to learn and a lot of awareness to raise.

Take toilet paper, for example - something everyone uses, multiple times a day, and then just flushes it down the toilet. And yet, we rarely stop and think about its damaging effects to our environment and potentially to our own health.

Bamboo Toilet Paper Rolls

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Environmental impact of traditional toilet paper

Before we jump to better alternatives, let’s take a look at the traditional toilet paper. To produce it, we need to cut down trees. It is estimated that approximately 27000 trees are chopped down every day for regular toilet paper production. We all know that forests are our planet’s lungs. They provide us with oxygen, and at the same time they absorb harmful carbon dioxide. When forests are cleared, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which is the cause of around 10% of global warming! Cutting wood can lead to climate changes, soil erosion, flooding and loss of animal habitats.

And that is not all! In order to achieve that white appearance and softness we all like, most traditional toilet paper is processed with chlorine bleach, which can be dangerous for our health. It creates toxins that can enter our skin and get into our bloodstream. This can damage the immune system, cause infections, reproductive problems, and even cancer. Bleach also releases toxic chemicals into the air and water, polluting them and causing harm to the environment.

The alternatives to traditional toilet paper

Now we know that using traditional or regular wood-pulp paper is not the best choice, since it is harmful to both the environment and to our health. So, what are the alternatives that can be used instead? You might have already stumbled upon or used bamboo or recycled toilet paper, and they are definitely a better choice. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Bamboo toilet paper and how it is made

Bamboo toilet paper is, of course, made from bamboo. The process of making bamboo toilet paper is pretty simple and clean. Raw bamboo stalks are broken down into fibers which are then turned into a pulp. The pulp is then pressed and turned into toilet paper. That’s it! There is no use of harsh chemicals like chlorine and bleach, the harmfulness of which has already been mentioned.

Furthermore, the production process of bamboo toilet paper requires much less water than regular toilet paper production. In the latter one, a lot of water is needed to clean and prepare the wood pulp. In our factory, the wastewater is taken care of in a closed-loop system.

Why bamboo?

One of the many interesting facts about bamboo is that it is the fastest growing plant on Earth. It can grow from several centimeters up to one meter a day! How amazing is that! Instead of waiting for years for a tree to grow in order to cut it down and make traditional toilet paper, you can have a grown plant within months. Although many people mistake it for wood, it is actually a kind of grass. This is another great fact, because it means it does not need to be replanted once it is harvested and it can sprout again year after year. In fact, bamboo has impressive regeneration powers and the more it is harvested, the faster it grows. This makes it a great sustainable resource.

We Use Bamboo Plant to Create Bamboo Toilet Paper

Growing bamboo is eco-friendly since it does not require the use of fertilizers or pesticides which can be very toxic to wildlife and humans. Furthermore, bamboos are effective carbon dioxide absorbers and can absorb up to 10 times more CO2 than trees. It also produces around 35% more oxygen than an equal area of trees. Bamboo does not require much space compared to forests, and it can grow almost anywhere. It can be found in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climates and up to 4000-meter altitude. It originated in China, and this country is still the largest producer of bamboo.

The type of bamboo our company used to make A Good Toilet Paper is called Moso Bamboo and is grown in Guizhou, China. It is part of the main flora and it has grown there for thousands of years, which means that our bamboo is not grown on deforested land. This is an important fact, since in some areas farmers clear forests in order to make room for bamboo plantations, which leads to the problem of deforestation and loss of biodiversity. So, if you opt for bamboo toilet paper, make sure that it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which ensures that the bamboo is sourced sustainably. Our product is certified by the FSC.

Bamboo Toilet Paper from agood company
agood company Bamboo Toilet Paper

Recycled toilet paper and how it is made

Some people find using recycled toilet paper icky because they think it is made of used toilet paper. There is no reason to worry though, since toilet paper is not recyclable. So, what does actually end up in the recycled toilet paper? The materials that are used for its production are called pre-consumer and post-consumer materials. Pre-consumer materials, or manufacturing waste, are a byproduct of some type of wood or paper manufacturing, such as trimmings and scraps or unused paper products. Post-consumer materials have already been used and then recycled, as opposed to just being thrown away. They can include recycled books, magazines, newspapers, office papers, etc.

Recycled Toilet Paper Rolls

If you look at different toilet paper brands, you will find out that some are made entirely from either pre-consumer or post-consumer materials, and others contain the mix of both. There are brands that actually use both virgin fiber and recycled fiber, so it might be a good idea to check the percentage of the materials used in the product before you decide to buy it. If you are not familiar with the term ’greenwashing’- it refers to a bad practice of some companies which mislead their consumers into thinking their product is eco-friendly, when in reality it is not. So, beware of greenwashing- some products might be labeled as ’recycled’ even though they contain a very low percentage of recycled materials.

There are several steps in the process of making recycled toilet paper. First, recycled paper is gathered and put into warm water, forming a pulp. The next step is injecting air into the pulp to remove any ink. The pulp is then bleached and sanitized, and finally, pressed and dried.

Why recycled toilet paper

The most obvious reason is that the process of producing recycled toilet paper does not require cutting down trees (if it is made from 100% recycled materials). It also uses products that would otherwise end up in landfills, which are harmful to the environment since they emit toxins and greenhouse gases.

Another advantage is that the manufacturing process uses much less energy and water than virgin toilet paper. Although some chemicals are used in the production of recycled toilet paper, they are less harmful than those used to bleach virgin pulp. And when it comes to softness, if you have concerns that recycled toilet paper might feel more like sand paper, don’t worry. Although it is not as soft as bamboo or regular toilet paper, it is soft enough and it will not harm your skin.

Bamboo toilet paper vs recycled toilet paper

Hopefully, by now we have become more aware of the fact that producing and using virgin toilet paper is not eco-friendly and sustainable, and that both bamboo toilet paper and recycled toilet paper are better options. If you are still on the fence, perhaps this comparison can help you decide for yourself.

Toilet Paper Made from Bamboo Rolls

Deforestation prevention

Using both bamboo and recycled toilet paper reduces cutting down trees and further deforestation. However, since recycled paper is made of paper, this means that in a way it still depends on logging trees. Also, some companies use a mixture of virgin and recycled paper, so if you really want an eco-friendly alternative, it is best to look for brands that contain between 80% and 100% post-consumer recycled material.

When it comes to bamboo, we have already mentioned that some forests are cleared in order to make room for bamboo plantations. This is bad practice, and we suggest choosing brands with FSC certification which guarantees that the product comes from responsibly managed forests.

Carbon emission

Some studies show that recycled toilet paper produces approximately 30% fewer carbon emission than traditional toilet paper, while this percentage is even higher when it comes to bamboo toilet paper and it goes up to 65%.

It is fair to mention though that, since most bamboo is grown in China, shipping it to the rest of the world does leave a carbon footprint. So, if you opt for organic bamboo toilet paper, look for the producers which offset their carbon emission from shipping (our brand does).

Chemicals used

No chemicals are used in the process of making bamboo toilet paper. However, to enhance whiteness, some brands use bleaching agents which can be harmful to your skin and the environment. So, check the label and make sure you choose bleach-free bamboo toilet paper.

Recycled toilet paper contains smaller amount of chemicals than regular toilet paper. Since it is made from white paper, it requires less bleach. Still, some chemicals need to be used to sanitize the raw materials. Also, thermal paper, such as receipts, tickets, labels etc. is used in the recycling process and it contains a harmful chemical called biosphenol A (BPA). Traces of BPA can be found in the recycled toilet paper, although the amount is very low. If you are still worried about this, the good news is, there are chlorine-free and BPA-free options.

Bamboo Toilet Paper in an Eco-Friendly Shopping Bag

Cleanliness and softness

Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic. Bamboo toilet paper has longer fibers than regular or recycled toilet paper, which means less dust gets in between the layers. This makes it more suitable for those with sensitive skin and allergies.

When it comes to softness, compared to regular and recycled toilet paper, bamboo toilet paper wins again. Recycled toilet paper is the least soft.

Post usage

Both bamboo and recycled toilet paper are safe for your plumbing system and will not clog it. They are actually safer than regular toilet paper. Also, they are both biodegradable, although bamboo toilet paper decomposes much faster than regular or recycled paper.


Recycled toilet paper might be cheaper than bamboo toilet paper, but the latter is thicker and more durable. This means you will need to use more of the recycled toilet paper, thus making more waste and spending more money.

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