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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, choosing a septic tank — a decentralized wastewater treatment system — comes with health, environmental, and economic benefits. These alternatives to public sewers can minimize disease risk and pathogen exposure, pull pollutants from surface water, restore aquifers, and reduce community infrastructure and energy costs. However, one must properly care for their septic tank to get these benefits, so septic-safe toilet paper is a must.
You (and your butt) may love luxuriously plush toilet paper, but your septic tank does not. Express Septic & Drain Cleaning relayed that overuse of non-degradable materials will block the pipes. If the necessary repairs are not made, solid waste will build up and form a clog.
"This clog can prevent the septic tank from draining properly, causing sewage to back into the home. In addition, the clog can also cause the leach field to become saturated, leading to an increased risk of groundwater contamination," the company wrote.
A clogged toilet is embarrassing, but a clogged septic tank is dangerous.
What is septic safe toilet paper?
Toilet paper is almost always biodegradable, as it's traditionally made of natural wood pulp, which will eventually decompose. That said, not all toilet paper is considered septic-safe.
Toilet tissue labeled as biodegradable or septic safe requires less water to break down and dissolve quickly, as per Four Seasons Plumbing. Recycled T.P. and T.P. made of alternative natural materials like bamboo, sugar cane, and cotton fibers (which are often mixed with wood fibers) are typically best for septic systems.
Though we recommend talking to your doctor about your fiber intake, as plumbing will likely never be entirely safe from a hefty No. 2, we're here to save your septic tank from avoidable clogging. Here are some of the best septic safe toilet paper rolls from eco-conscious brands.
Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper — 12 Count
The Original Plumber put Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper on its list of favorite septic safe T.P.s. Advertised as being "loved by septic systems and deeply better for the earth," Caboo's sustainable bamboo toilet paper requires less than one gallon of water per roll (as opposed to 37 gallons of water per tree paper roll) and is BPA-, nylon-, and chlorine bleach-free. As put by Caboo, "it's up to us to save our butts."
Who Gives a Crap 100% Recycled Toilet Paper — 6 Count
Who doesn't love a cheeky brand name? CNN praised this B-Corp certified T.P. brand for its use of 100 percent recycled or bamboo materials, carbon-neutral shipping, and charitable nature. With a mission to "ensure everyone has access to clean water and a toilet within our lifetime," Who Gives a Crap donates a whopping 50 percent of profits to water, hygiene, and sanitation initiatives. Oh, and the two-ply 100% Recycled Toilet Paper is still "soft and scrunchable."
Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Bath Tissue — 12 Count
After some T.P. testing, Good Housekeeping found the Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Bath Tissue to be the best sustainable option in 2024. Not only did the team members describe the two-ply T.P. — which is made of at least 50 percent post-consumer recycled paper — as "fairly soft and absorbent," but they reported that it "dissolved within seconds."
The plush tissue is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and free of chlorine, dyes, inks, and fragrances.
Cloud Paper Bamboo Toilet Paper — 12 Count
Your booty deserves to be on Cloud 9. Business Insider listed Cloud Paper Bamboo Toilet Paper as the best sustainable option of 2023, commending the eco-friendly T.P. for its absorbency and for being free of BPA, dyes, scents, and chlorine.
Described by the company as "septic friendly," Cloud Paper is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, features plastic-free packaging, and partners with do-good nonprofits like Food Lifeline and One Tree Planted.
Presto! 2-Ply Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper — 12 Count
Bob Vila considers Presto! 2-Ply Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper a fabulous budget-friendly, low lint option for septic systems. Also great for for RVs, the GreenCircle certified T.P. uses pulp from "sustainably managed forests." Plus, the Amazon brand boasts that it's a Charmin Ultra Soft dupe.
The Cheeky Panda Bamboo Toilet Paper — 12 Count
B Corp certified and Forest Stewardship Council certified, The Cheeky Panda offsets carbon emissions by donating to the World Land Trust, "an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats."
ecoHiny Tree Free Toilet Paper
Boasting a plump peach logo, ecoHiny calls bamboo a "miracle crop," as it's hypoallergenic, doesn't require herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. EcoHiny's Forest Stewardship Council certified Tree Free Toilet Paper is also BPA-, PFA-, elemental chlorine-, ink-, scent-, and dye-free. Additionally, customers can expect plastic-free packaging made of post-consumer recyclable materials and carbon neutral shipping.