Toilet paper
Source: Getty Images

NRDC Releases 2022's Annual 'Issue With Tissue' Report, Ranking the Most Eco-Friendly Toilet Papers

Sophie Hirsh - Author
By

Sep. 14 2022, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

Every year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) publishes its annual Issue with Tissue report, which helps consumers shop for the best eco-friendly toilet paper out there, by giving various toilet paper brands grades on a scale of A to F.

In total, the report evaluated 60 toilet paper brands. Though the report primarily focuses on toilet paper, this year, it looked at a total of 142 tissue products across three product categories: toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues.

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To determine each product’s score, the NRDC looked at recycled content, whether that content was post-consumer recycled, if the company avoids primary forests (such as Canada’s boreal forest), and its bleaching process.

“Industry laggards like P&G are fueling a tree-to-toilet pipeline that is flushing away some of the most environmentally important – and threatened – forests in the world,” Jennifer Skene, NRDC’s Natural Climate Solutions Policy Manager, said in a statement sent to Green Matters.

“The primary forests of the boreal – those areas that have never before been industrially disturbed – must be protected if we’re going to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change,” Skene continued. “Turning them into toilet paper is a climate crime, especially when done by the very companies that most need to step up to protect our future.”

Keep reading for the details on this year’s Issue with Tissue report.

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Toilet paper
Source: Getty Images

The NRDC’s Issue with Tissue report found that these are the best eco-friendly toilet papers.

All of the toilet papers to receive A and A+ scores are made with recycled materials. The top TPs with A+ grades were:

  • Green Forest
  • Natural Value
  • Trader Joe’s
  • 365 Everyday Value, 100% Recycled (Whole Foods).

The TPs to score an A were:

  • Field & Future (H-E-B A)
  • Marcal 100% Recycled
  • Simple Truth
  • Who Gives A Crap, 100% Recycled
  • Everspring (Target)
  • GreenWise
  • Nature's Promise
  • Seventh Generation Extra Soft & Strong.
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The same major companies tend to earn the lowest scores year after year, but this year, one of Georgia-Pacific’s brands moved farther up the list than ever before after rolling out its first 100 percent recycled toilet paper, earning a B+.

These toilet papers scored B+ and B grades:

  • Pacific Blue Basic (Georgia-Pacific’s first TP to score a B+)
  • Scott Essential Standard Roll
  • Cloud Paper
  • Amazon Aware
  • Bambooloo
  • Betterway
  • Bim Bam Boo
  • Caboo
  • Cheeky Panda
  • NatureZway
  • NooTrees
  • Reel Paper
  • Seedling
  • Silk’n Soft, Oh’ Natural Unbleached.

These brands scored Cs:

  • Thrive Market
  • Silk’n Soft, White
  • TUSHY
  • Cottonelle.

And the brand No.2 was the only one to score a D.

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Charmin
Source: Getty Images

The NRDC ranked these as the worst toilet papers in terms of eco-friendliness.

Procter & Gamble (aka P&G, owner of many brands including Charmin), Kimberly-Clark (Cottonelle, Scott, and more), and Georgia-Pacific (Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, and more) are known as the top American toilet paper companies, with each of them owning various brands — many of which are made using virgin TP from Canada's boreal forest. Unsurprisingly, brands owned by these parent companies primarily earned F scores.

These TPs are scored Fs:

  • Scott 1000
  • Charmin
  • Cottonelle Ultra
  • Great Value 1000
  • HDX
  • Kirkland
  • Kroger Soft & Strong
  • Scott ComfortPlus
  • Trader Joe's Super Soft
  • Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong
  • 365 Everyday Value, Sustainably Soft
  • Amazon Basics
  • Angel Soft
  • Aria
  • Fiora
  • Great Value Ultra
  • H-E-B Our Finest
  • Moxie
  • Paperbird Soft & Strong
  • Presto!
  • Publix Super Soft and Publix Ultra Strong
  • Quilted Northern Ultra Plush
  • Softly
  • Stop & Shop / Giant Food
  • Up & Up
  • Wegmans
  • Willow Thick & Soft.
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Issue with Tissue Scorecard
Source: NRDC

These are the most and least sustainable paper towels.

Paper towels to earn A+ and A scores were:

  • Everspring
  • Seventh Generation, White and Seventh Generation, Unbleached
  • Green Forest
  • Natural Value and Natural Value, Naturally Unbleached
  • Reel Paper, Premium Recycled
  • Trader Joe's
  • 365 Everyday Value
  • Field & Future by H-E-B A
  • Marcal and Marcal Small Steps
  • Simple Truth
  • GreenWise
  • Nature's Promise.

And those to earn Fs were:

  • Bounty and Bounty Advanced
  • Amazon Basics
  • HDX
  • Kroger
  • Paperbird Ultra Strong
  • Viva
  • Aria
  • Boulder
  • Brawny
  • Brightly
  • Fiora
  • Great Value Ultra Strong
  • H-E-B Our Finest
  • Kirkland
  • Moxie
  • Presto!
  • Publix
  • Sparkle
  • Stop & Shop / Giant Food
  • Up & Up (Target)
  • Wegmans.
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Brawny
Source: Getty Images

These are the most and least eco-friendly facial tissues.

Tissue brands to earn A+ or A were:

  • Green Forest
  • Natural Value
  • Trader Joe's
  • 365 Everyday Value, 100% Recycled
  • Fluff Out
  • Simple Truth
  • Seventh Generation.

Fs were awarded to the following tissues:

  • Puffs
  • Great Value Everyday Soft
  • Kirkland
  • Kleenex Everyday
  • Kroger
  • Paperbird Soft & Strong
  • Up & Up Soft
  • 365 Everyday Value, Sustainably Soft
  • Amazon Basics
  • Fiora
  • Presto!
  • Publix
  • Quilted Northern Ultra
  • Softly
  • Stop & Shop / Giant Food
  • Wegmans
  • Willow.

You can read the rest of the report here.

Overall, the NRDC has two goals with this report: to help guide consumers to choose more sustainable paper products, and to put pressure on manufacturers to transition away from using virgin fibers (especially from the boreal forest) and towards using recycled or sustainably-sourced fibers.

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