Your ultra-soft toilet paper is ultra-bad for the planet
Down in the dumps about the environmental impacts of toilet paper? Flush your worries away: the Natural Resources Defense Council now has a scorecard to help you determine which toilet paper brands are shittiest.
Most big-name toilet paper brands don’t use any recycled paper in their tissue products — super-soft toilet paper as we know it actually requires fibers that can only be found in virgin timber. So, like some kind of kids’ movie super-villain, companies source wood pulp from ancient trees in the Canada boreal forest. Those forests are home to indigenous communities, tons of wildlife, and stored carbon waiting to be released when logged.
Who are the main culprits? Three best-selling toilet paper brands — Quilted Northern, Cottonelle, and Charmin Ultra Soft — all got either a D or an F from NRDC based on factors like whether they used recycled materials, whether they use less-toxic bleaching methods, and which forests they source from.
If learning that those friendly little Charmin bears are actually huge sellouts pisses you off, check the scorecard to find more sustainable brands. Target’s Seventh Generation brand, Whole Foods’ 365-brand bath tissue, and Trader Joe’s bath tissue all got top marks. Note that despite their good grades in the normal bath tissue area, Trader Joe’s “Super Soft Bath Tissue” and Whole Foods’ 365-brand “Sustainably Soft” bath tissue both get a D from the NRDC. Rough day for butts!
Sure, recycled paper may not feel like wiping with something straight from the Buckingham Palace. But let’s save all of our asses instead.