The Great Toilet Paper Trials
Updated: Jul 20
I don't think there are many people out there who just don't want to be eco-friendly. But other factors get in our way, convenience, lack of knowledge, and price. For those of us already attempting to reduce our waste, price is probably the biggest remaining factor. When it came to opting for a more eco-friendly toilet paper for my family, I was a bit baffled... there were the supermarket brands that marketed themselves as 'eco', but all came wrapped in plastic, or there were the two brands that I could order online, one 'naked' and one in very appealing packaging. But what I wanted to know was, firstly, are they truly eco-friendly, and secondly, how do they compare price-wise?
So I decided the only way to really know was to give each one a go, and so was born 'The Great Toilet Paper Trials'! Read on to find out how they compared.
Made from: 100% recycled from post-consumer waste. This means paper that would otherwise go into landfills.
Packaged in: Soft plastic
Made in: Queensland, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.
Price: (can vary depending on shop and specials) 6 pack of double length (400 sheets 2 ply) or 12 pack standard length (200 sheets 2 ply) $5
Price per 100 sheets: 18/19 cents
Feel/texture: Not a notable difference from the other two brands. Similar thickness. On very close inspection it is a little rougher.
Verdict: A very cost effective option, and little shipping involved being made in Aus and NZ. 100% recycled is amazing, the plastic wrapping is quite a big downside. For most people, the convenience of being able to buy it at the supermarket is a plus.
Made from: 100% Recycled Waste Paper
Packaged in: Recyclable paper (curbside recycling)
Made in: New Zealand.
Price: (can vary depending on shop and specials) 6 pack of double length (160 sheets 2 ply) or 12 pack standard length (360 sheets 2 ply) $4.50-$5.00
Price per 100 sheets: 21-23c
Feel/texture: Actually a bit softer than the other brands. Similar thickness.
Verdict: A very cost effective option, and little shipping involved being made in NZ. 100% recycled is amazing, the recyclable/ compostable wrapping is great! For most people, the convenience of being able to buy it at the supermarket is a plus.
Made from: All Greencane products are made from an 80% mix of recycled sugarcane and bamboo fibre (bagasse), a by-product of the sugar refining process. They use timber in conjunction with this mix.
Packaged in: Comes in a box, rolls are 'naked' (not individually wrapped). Even paper tape was used rather than sellotape, making the packaging 100% plastic-free.
Made in: China. Shipped with ocean container shipping as they believe that maritime shipping offers the most carbon efficient form of volume transportation.
Price: $50.30 (including North Island postage) for a box of 48 extra-long rolls. Each roll 300 sheets - 2 ply quality
Price per 100 sheets: 35 cents BUT these rolls of toilet paper, despite being technically the same (300 sheets 2 ply) as Smartass, lasted significantly longer. I don't know why.. but when you look at the two new rolls side-by-side Greencane do appear bigger.
Feel/texture: Virtually identical to Smartass.
Verdict: Loving the completely plastic-free packaging. Although these appear to be the worst value for money, when you factor in the fact that each roll lasts longer than the Smartass, I would say that this is a better option than Smartass value-wise.
Smartass: (Innocent Packaging)
Made from: 'Tree-free'! Made from a combination of bagasse (A waste product from sugarcane, and bamboo, free of inks, dyes, and perfume.
Packaged in: Rolls are individually wrapped in a funky, colourful tissue paper. They are then packaged in recycled cardboard boxes. The box was sealed with (plastic) sellotape.
Made in: China and Taiwan
Price: $49.20 including delivery (you have to subscribe to get this price but you can cancel at any time. I just subscribed and canceled the next day) for 48 rolls of 2 ply. 300 sheets per roll.
Price per 100 sheets: 34 cents
Feel/texture: Virtually identical to Smartass.
Verdict: There's no denying that the wrappers are super funky and will brighten up your bathroom a bit. It's also really nice to know that no trees were harmed in the making of this toilet paper. When I took into account how long each roll lasted, these worked out the most expensive.
EcoRoll: (Ecoware Packaging) (not sampled)
Made from: Bamboo. Tree-free TP, the bamboo is sourced from forests certified to the highest level of responsible forestry management.
Packaged in: Rolls are individually wrapped in a funky, colourful tissue paper. They are then packaged in cardboard boxes.
Made in: China, not far from where the bamboo comes from.
Price: $51.80 including delivery (you have to subscribe to get this price but you can cancel at any time. This is for 48 rolls of 2 ply. 300 sheets per roll.
Price per 100 sheets: 36 cents
Feel/texture: I haven't personally tried it (I'd love some feedback if you have!)
Verdict: Again, the wrappers are really cool. Great that it's bamboo and FSC certified. These rolls work out to be the most expensive once you include postage.
Price: Earthcare take this one out, very closely followed by Earth Smart. Greencane, Ecoroll and Smartass are similarly priced, although I consider Greencane to be slightly more cost-effective, so I give them the bronze medal.
Materials: I'm no expert here and would love to hear some feedback, but to me, this award is a four-way tie between Smartass and Ecoroll (tree-free), Earthcare and Earth Smart (100% recycled paper). Greencane still gets an honorable mention here too.
Packaging: Greencane and Earth Smart win in this field, being completely plastic free. Smartass and Ecoroll are a close third and also get the 'funky' award. Earthcare and Earth Smart also get a mention here for being locally made and therefore having less carbon footprint from shipping.
And the winner is...
In my opinion: Earth Smart
But you tell me! Comment below or on facebook or instagram to let me know which one gets your vote.