Is toilet paper biodegradable? & which is the most eco-friendly?

Is toilet paper biodegradable?

Technically speaking, dearest reader, all toilet paper is biodegradable. Unless you find yourself VERY low on supplies and have to turn to some kind of plastic material (but why would you?).

That’s because toilet paper is traditionally made from natural material. However, there’s a small caveat to that, because bog-standard toilet paper will usually take longer to decompose compared to eco-friendly alternatives, AND they’re not as good for the planet (because they use nice things as material, like trees).

There are three ‘common’ materials that toilet paper is made from, all biodegradable, but not necessarily the best for our lovely green Earth…

3 Common Biodegradable Materials Used for Toilet Paper  

Virgin Tree Pulp

This is your ‘classic’ loo roll material, made from wood pulp taken from glorious green trees.

The kind of toilet paper made from wood pulp is contributing heavily to global deforestation, with around 27,000 trees a day being chopped down just so we can wipe our bums. Bit mad, isn’t it?

Wood pulp IS biodegradable, but it’s not the best, most eco-friendly option…


Fast-growing, available in abundance and sustainably sourced – bamboo is THE most eco-friendly option when choosing biodegradable toilet paper. No matter what anyone says.

Bamboo toilet paper and other household products usually only contain all-natural ingredients – so no chemicals or ingredients which harm you or the planet – and can even be made of 100% bamboo material.

In terms of biodegradability and decomposition, bamboo products are quicker to break down in certain conditions and will naturally return to soil, even enriching the soil with extra nutrients. This means bamboo products don’t need to sit on a landfill site for years, producing harmful greenhouse gases and extra carbon.

Recycled Paper

Using toilet paper made from recycled materials is a great way to improve your eco credentials. Recycled toilet paper is much better than using tree pulp, with some studies showing that making the switch can save millions of trees.

One drawback, however, is that to be usable as loo roll, the recycled materials need to be deinked in a complicated chemical process (something this blog writer can’t easily explain) before it’s pulped and processed. This may involve chlorine to bleach the paper, and chemical can react to paper fibres which can create toxins.

So, while recycled toilet paper is better for the planet, it’s not necessarily the best option for you or your skin.

What is the Most Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper? 

Bamboo is one of the best options when it comes to toilet paper – it’s naturally biodegradable, contains no nasty chemicals and is super sustainable. 

By using bamboo as an alternative to traditional tissue, you’re helping to reduce deforestation and carbon production across the Earth. Round of a-paws to you!

Team Cheeky Panda x

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