Plastic Free Toilet Paper?: Who Gives A Crap Review

Plastic free toilet paper, a sustainable loo roll subscription, and eco friendly toilet tricks - who knew I would get down and dirty like this so early into the new year!  Get ready to discover Who Gives A Crap and see what the buzz is all about.

Remember when you could find single rolls of toilet paper in a simple paper wrap in the shops??  Those were the days...

Toilet paper is a basic essential, but in the first lockdown of 2020 it suddenly became like a mystical creature.  People were buying en masse, grabbing all the bundles they could find, and stockpiling like their sad little tooshies might never survive without 130582950 square inches of TP.  But did you ever stop to think about all the excess plastic that came along with this household staple??

Well, when toilet paper became a hot commodity last year I sure was happy that I had done my research and found a more sustainable alternative with Who Gives A Crap - not only did I get to skip the insanity of searching for loo paper thanks to my subscription, I also got to minimize the amount of plastic waste I was responsible for!

Almost all toilet paper you find in shops now are in multi-packs that are covered in non-recyclable plastic that ends up straight in the bin. And sadly this "protective" coating that is there for customer convenience generates even more problems when you realize that a single roll requires 37 gallons of water, 1.5 pounds of wood, and 1/3kWh of electricity to make. Not only that, but many high street brands bleach the paper with chlorine to make it look as white as possible (a bit odd considering what it is used for, but hey, the world is a weird place).

Considering the UK alone uses 1.3 tonnes of tissue each year, that is a LOT of waste and a lot of trees being cut down to meet the demand.

But fortunately there is a way you and your bum can help protect against deforestation, water and plastic waste, and chemical burdens. Plastic free and sustainably sourced toilet paper! When seeking out a brand, there a few key things to look for - no plastic obviously, where the product is made (carbon footprint is important too!), whether the paper is recycled or 'virgin', and what type of material the tissue is actually made from.

There are more and more options hitting the market, as people are asking for more eco friendly alternatives than those in the supermarket, but one of my favourites is Who Gives A Crap.

The Brand: Who Gives A Crap 

This eco-forward vegan friendly Australian business has a passion for puppies, walks on the beach, and toilet paper.  Founded in 2012 by trio Simon, Jehan, and Danny, the goal was to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

"We started Who Gives A Crap when we learnt that 2.4 billion people don't have access to a toilet (now 2 billion – yay for progress!). That's roughly 40% of the global population and means that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes."

After successfully crowdfunding the funds to get started, Who Gives A Crap started delivering their plastic free products in 2013 and working towards achieving their dream.  And they haven't looked back since!

Not only are the products from Who Gives A Crap free from "virgin trees" (meaning that no trees have been cut down specifically to make this toilet paper) and pesky plastic, the company donates 50% of profits to charities like WaterAid, Sanergy, Lwala Community Alliance, SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities), WaterSHED, and iDE (International Development Enterprises).  To date, they have given back £4.5 million, and in their words "that's a lot of toilets!"

The Products: Plastic Free Toilet Paper, Tissues, and Paper Towels

Who Gives A Crap offers a selection of primarily plastic free products (the brand is super upfront about what needs to be improved and regularly gives updates when they have found suitable alternatives), including their iconic toilet paper, forest friendly tissues, and double length paper towels.  Everything is totally biodegradable, produced and shipped responsibly, and is contributing to a great cause.  We have tried them all, and I honestly can't fault them.  The quality is great, they are absorbent, they last ages, and are pretty cost effective in the grand scheme of things - what's not to like??

In terms of toilet paper, there are two options available from Who Gives A Crap, both of which are free from inks, dyes, and scents.  The Premium 3 Ply 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper is a more luxury option, and the 100% Recycled Toilet Paper is the standard choice, but don't be fooled - both are comfortable to use and offer their own special perks!

Each of the rolls have been tested for "flushability" and have proven to be great for both traditional and alternative toilets, "including composting, and sensitive systems like septic tanks," and when compared to competitors the price actually shows itself to be on par or even more affordable than plastic wrapped TP you find in the supermarkets.  Pretty great, right?  But let's check out the two types and see what they have to offer:

Who Gives A Crap Bamboo Toilet Paper:

"Made from 100% recycled fibres, each roll will immediately turn your bathroom into that eco-friendly paradise you’ve been longing for (personal waterfall not included). The soft, 3 ply sheets make for a super comfy wipe. Competitively priced with supermarket rolls, they feel good on your bum and your budget."

These double length rolls have 370 sheets each, are 3-ply for comfort and functionality, and are good to use in all septic tanks.  Made with forest-friendly bamboo which offers a super soft feel, and created without the use of harsh chemicals (just water and heat!), this luxury roll is ideal for those wanting a gentler touch.  The raw material is predominantly grown in remote areas of Sichuan Province, China, and Who Gives A Crap explains that local farmers "plant bamboo on the outskirts of their family farms to supplement their income" - this means that no land is being disturbed for the sole purpose of creating this toilet paper.  I love how transparent they are about the process, and how much detail they offer on their blog.

Who Gives A Crap Recycled Toilet Paper

"These 100% bamboo rolls are 100% the most elegant toilet paper ever. They’re as soft and strong as a unicorn’s mane (minus the split ends) and look majestic in your loo. Fancy toilet rolls without the fancy price tag – how posh!"

These double length rolls have 400 sheets each, making them the larger and more economic option, and are 3-ply and suitable for most septic tanks.  Most of their recycled paper comes from post-consumer waste paper sourced from schools near their factories, a decision that reduces CO2 emissions as well as water use.  Only 5% of the material comes from industrial sources, meaning that the majority is old loose leaf paper, textbooks, paper off cuts, and journals which contain no BPA.  However, Who Gives A Crap still takes the steps to ensure their plastic free toilet paper is super safe and high quality, and conduct testing on a regular basis.

Finished your toilet paper? Why not try to give new lift to the materials? My kitties love chasing the cardboard roll around!

Like I said, we have tried both the premium bamboo TP and the regular recycled rolls, and honestly each is great in terms of quality and comfort. We generally go for the standard just because it's cheaper (18.8p per 100 sheets), more environmentally friendly, and I can pick this up locally at Little Shop of Vegans or get a six month supply delivered through their subscription service, both of which I find super convenient.  However, the bamboo was definitely a lovely experience too - it's just a matter of preference.

Who Gives A Crap certainly offers a lot when it comes to sustainable and ethical paper products, and I for one am super happy I switched over to their subscription in 2019.  I had no idea about the chaos that was coming, but I did know I wanted to minimize plastic waste and spend my money with a company that actually cared about the world.  Definitely a win win!

While I agree with Moral Fibres about the unnecessary amount of paper being used, there just aren't that many options out there, plus I have seen so many creative ideas for repurposing and reusing the wraps that I just can't be too mad about it.  I mean, someone recently turned theirs into handmade paper - the fact that something like loo roll is inspiring others to create is just so brilliant.  And of course I adore the charitable aspect of Who Gives A Crap, 

The fact that these are free from bleaching and other potentially toxic chemicals, and overall last ages since they are double length makes Who Gives A Crap a must for me now.  We buy less, save more, and reduce our plastic footprint all at the same time.

Honestly, swapping your loo roll is such an easy way to start living a greener life, and opting for a flexible subscription with an ethical brand like Who Gives A Crap takes all the stress out of shopping.  So why not give it a go??  You can even save £5 off your first order!  Or, if you are still unsure about a subscription or a full box of products and would rather sample first, you can pick up a trial box!

And if you want to know more about the Who Gives A Crap tissues or paper towels, do let me know - I'm happy to write up a little review or share more thoughts in the comments! xx

1 comment

  1. Great review! I have wanted to try out this brand for awhile - I might just need to make the switch now :)
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin


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