Greenpeace’s pocket guide ranks 18 popular paper towel, toilet paper, facial tissue and paper napkin brands on the extent of their use of recycled content and bleaching processes, to help consumers make more educated decisions about their purchases.
According to a report by the International Herald Tribune, the U.S. is the largest market for toilet paper in the world, with tissues from 100 percent recycled fibers making up less than 2 percent of sales for at-home use.
The highest ranking brand for facial tissue, toilet paper and paper towels is Green Forest, with 90 percent post-consumer content in all three categories. Other top-ranking brands included 365, Seventh Generation and Trader Joe’s. Popular brands including Target, Brawny and Vanity Fair consistently ranked at the bottom of the lists.
The guide uses the following categories to rank each brand:
- 100 percent recycled content
- At least 50 percent post-consumer recycled content
- Bleached without toxic, chlorine compounds
Products meeting all three criteria are “recommended,” those meeting two “can do better” and products that meet one (or none) are “to be avoided.”
Greenpeace also states that “tissue products are used once and then thrown or flushed away. Buying products made with post-consumer recycled content that have not been bleached with chlorine compounds reduces our impact on ancient forests and the broader environment.”
Beyond recommending recycled-content products to reduce consumption of valuable natural resources, Greenpeace also recommends reusable cloth hankies instead of facial tissues to minimize waste.