How is Recycled Toilet Paper Made: A Deep Dive into Eco-Friendly Sanitation

In an era defined by rising environmental concerns, understanding the processes behind creating sustainable products is more important than ever. One such product that has gained significant attention lately is recycled toilet paper. But how exactly does your old office paper turn into a roll of toilet paper? Let’s unravel this intriguing process.

The Process of Making Recycled Toilet Paper

Recycling paper into toilet paper involves a fascinating series of steps. Initially, the collected paper waste, including magazines, office paper, and school notebooks, is sorted to remove any non-paper content. This could be staples, plastic wrappers, or anything else that might have been mixed with the paper waste.

The sorted paper is then chopped into small pieces and mixed with water to create a pulp. This pulp, known as “slurry,” is heated to break down the paper into its constituent fibres. The slurry is further processed to remove ink and other contaminants, resulting in a clean, white pulp.

This pulp is then spread onto large screens to allow the water to drain off, leaving just the paper fibres behind. These fibres are pressed and dried to form large sheets of paper, which are then rolled up to create the jumbo rolls you see in factories.

These jumbo rolls are then converted into smaller, consumer-friendly rolls of toilet paper. They’re perforated, cut to the right size, and packaged for distribution.

Chemicals in Recycled Toilet Paper

While the process of recycling paper into toilet paper is a significant step towards sustainability, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not entirely devoid of chemical usage. Here’s an in-depth look at the chemicals commonly found in recycled toilet paper.

De-inking Agents

One of the most critical steps in recycling paper into toilet paper is the removal of ink from the used paper. This is done using what is known as de-inking agents. These agents are chemicals that help detach and wash away the ink from the paper fibres during the pulping process. They can include surfactants and solvents, among others.

Bleaching Agents

Once the ink has been removed, the pulp needs to be whitened. Most consumers prefer white toilet paper, so manufacturers often use bleaching agents to achieve this. The most commonly used bleach in paper production is chlorine dioxide. While it effectively whitens paper, it also results in the production of dioxins, which are harmful to both humans and the environment.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is another chemical that can be found in recycled toilet paper. BPA is typically used in the production of thermal paper, such as receipts. When these are recycled, traces of BPA can end up in the recycled toilet paper.

Towards a Greener Future: Environmentally Friendly Alternatives

In response to growing environmental and health concerns, many manufacturers are seeking more sustainable alternatives to these chemicals. For example, some are opting for oxygen, ozone, or hydrogen peroxide as bleaching agents instead of chlorine dioxide. These alternatives do not produce dioxins and are thus safer for the environment.

Furthermore, there’s a growing trend towards using BPA-free thermal paper to reduce the amount of BPA in the recycling stream.

While recycled toilet paper does contain some chemicals, the industry is continuously evolving towards more environmentally friendly practices. As consumers, it’s essential to stay informed about these issues and make choices that align with our commitment to a healthier planet.

Is Recycled Toilet Paper Biodegradable?

Yes, recycled toilet paper is indeed biodegradable. It breaks down more quickly than conventional toilet paper because it’s made from shorter fibres. This makes it an excellent choice for those seeking to minimize toilet blockages.

Is Using Recycled Toilet Paper Better for the Environment?

Absolutely. Using recycled toilet paper helps reduce deforestation, save water, and cut down on the energy used in the production process. It also helps to keep paper waste out of landfills.

Spotting Recycled Toilet Paper

When shopping for toilet paper, look for packaging that clearly states the product is made from recycled material. Moreover, check for certifications from environmental organizations, which indicate the product meets certain environmental standards.


As we strive towards a more sustainable future, understanding the impact of our choices, even as seemingly trivial as toilet paper, is essential. Recycled toilet paper presents us with an opportunity to make a small but meaningful change in our daily lives. By choosing recycled toilet paper, we’re not just opting for a more eco-friendly product, but we’re also playing a part in conserving our planet’s precious resources, which makes recycled the best toilet roll you can buy to help the environment.