The most Eco-friendly toilet paper in the world!

Filed in Blog, packaging by on July 16, 2010 22 Comments
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Van Houtum eco friendly toilet paper

Van Houtum eco friendly toilet paper

I recently came across a company called Van Houtum.

They have created Satino Black which claims to be the most Eco-friendly hygienic tissue paper in the world!

Satino black is supposed to be the only really sustainable and 100% Cradle to Cradle toilet paper available on the market. According to the site it is produced without any any net CO2 emissions and displays the following environmental labels: FSC recycled, European Ecolabel and Cradle to Cradle.
Of course, me being me, I’m not so interested about what’s in the packet as to what the packaging is! So I asked what material they were using to pack the toilet rolls and how we should responsibility dispose of it. Here is what I was told:

Dear Mrs. Green,

with regards to your email from underneath we herewith want to inform you that we pack some of our products in cartons made partially from our waste during our production process (so very environmental) and we also pack some of our products in plastic wrapping made from LDPT. This is less environmental and we are still in the process to improve in this.

Hope to have informed you sufficiently,

Kind regards,

Myrian Hinssen

So, methinks the claims of zero net carbon emissions might refer to the product and not the packaging. I asked for clarification because there is obviously a slight language barrier. I stressed that I was asking specifically about toilet rolls and here is the response (received in less than 24 hours I have to add):

Dear Mrs Green,

All of our toilet rolls are packed in plastic wrap from LDPT except our compact toiletrolls and our system rolls, these are packed in cartons.

Kind regards,

Myrian Hinssen

Well, this type of plastic polythene packaging can be recycled in some large supermarkets with the carrier bags, but when we have options like Naturelle, Co-Op and Asda in the UK coming out well in the GreenPeace guide to forest-friendly toilet paper and a couple of zero waste solutions of our own, I don’t think I’m tempted to switch brands. In the US, there is Ever Green plastic free toilet paper and over here we can buy a 2 pack of Andrex in paper packaging.

What do you think?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (22)

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  1. Ben says:

    I suspect that between the average paper and plastic wrapped loo rolls in most shops, plastic is the better environmental choice. It’s much the same as paper bags vs. plastic bags. Both are recyclable, but plastics normally use significantly less energy and resources to make than paper. Plastic wrapped rolls can also be found in much bigger packets, resulting in less packaging per roll.

  2. Poppy says:

    I think they are over egging what they offer. Marketing being what it is, they are obviously trying to make themselves appear better than the other products, but as a committed amateur, I don’t see that I would be persuaded.

    btw, have you seen the best before dates on the Tesco carriers? It did make me chuckle, before I questioned why. They are supposedly biodegradable HPDE 2 and the one I’m looking at right now (DH gets them, not me!) says ‘This bag is best used before 1210’.

    Does this mean that I shouldn’t be recycling it with the rest of the stuff I leave at the supermarkets? Will it mess up the recycle process?

    • Marion says:

      You can put them in a compost bin, or your ordinary rubbish bin, so they are ideal for wrapping any messy rubbish, as they will rot down, that is what bio=degradable means.
      Hope this was useful to you.

  3. Condo Blues says:

    It sounds like the company is talking about the product than the packaging. It sounds like they are working on the packaging but they should be a bit more specific or they will lose creditability with the green community, IMHO.

    I use Ever green toilet roll. While it’s super green, it’s not very cushie for the tushie. It’s cushieness and plyness is about that of what you’d find in your average porta potty.

  4. Alyson says:

    where can you buy Andrex 2 roll in paper? I’ve only seen it in plastic.

  5. Jane says:

    I’ve found that the big plastic bags of loo rolls with a handle to be the current best solution for us. I can reuse the bag to put more recyclable plastic bags in and then take the whole bag to be recycled at the supermarket with the carrier bag and other plastic bag recycling (including their marked up mozzarella bags and grape bags etc)

  6. Jane says:

    Yesterday bought Sainsbury’s Supermarket Basics ( plastic no handle) for the office and carried them in in a string bag. Thoroughly recommend string (turtle) bags for big bulky but not heavy shopping like this.

  7. LJayne says:

    We use traidcraft 100% recycled toilet paper and buy in bulk direct. Each 4 pack comes in plastic 4 which I can recycle through my local Sainsburys. Not ideal. Sometimes I go with the Sainsburys 100% recycled and buy the bigger 9 pack with the carrying handle as described above and use the big bag for storage.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Ben: Good conclusions, Ben. I’m still not really sure about the whole paper vs plastics debate and I keep an open mind on it.

    @Poppy: No, don’t put the biodegradable bags into recycling as they can mess up the load apparently. This is why I am so against degradable bags. I think it’s better to have NON degradable and at least recycle them 🙁

    @Condo Blues: I find this too. All the recycled rolls I’ve bought have been extremely dusty, thin and reminiscent of sandpaper. (mind you, I am very fussy 😉 )

    @Alyson: We can get it in our local shop which must mean if you could join a cash and carry it would be available there.

    @Jane: That’s more or less what we do, Jane; use the empty toilet roll bag for storing other polythene ready for recycling.

    @LJayne: It’s great to support the fairtrade and recycled products, Lesley, thanks for reminding me about traidcraft as I tend to forget to look out for them.

  9. Magdalena says:

    I used to but Scott tissue in the States, which was sold by the single roll (a big one) and wapped in paper. We had wood heat, so all paper was instantly re-used and disposed of at the same time. I can’t find anything like it in Canada; there’s probably something in specialty shops, but most Canadians don’t have access to these. I know Canada is considered a minor market, but Canadians in general are very eco-sensitive.

  10. Magdalena says:

    “Buy” Sott tissue. Interesting typo?

  11. Jane says:

    In the past I’ve bought Lidl unbleached recycled loo roll and found this quite satisfactory but then when I bought a pack of 20 or so at the start of the year found that the softness had changed and it wasn’t at all soft. OK for me but not the softies in the office, and I’d prefer softer. I shall test drive a roll or two again to see if what it is like several months on. In the past we always had Nouvelle which I do reckon is soft. I did read that with the reduction in the amount of high quality paper being recycled (we’re writing emails instead) the content of recycled paper was changing. I considered buying Traidcraft for the office but was surprised at having to buy such small packs, was worried after my experience with the Lidl one, and would have had to pay a delivery charge. It would be good to be able to buy a cardboard box without so much plastic packaging. I have a collection of different sheets from different companies to compare the softness but as I found this can vary from one week to the next!

  12. Jane says:

    @Alyson: it may come in paper but didn’t look so good on that chart.
    This is one item where I feel I should be able to complete the circle – by reducing, reusing and buying recycled.

  13. Mrs Green says:

    @Magdalena: Sounds like a great brand Magdalena. I tend to agree that Canada seems extremely eco conscious so I hope you find something over there. Love the typo LOL!

    @Jane: I use a Lidls one and it seems ok, but not the best I know I shouldn’t be so fussy, but ya know, some of us like our erm, creature comforts. It looks like you are the person for the research, so I’ll be interested to hear what you discover 🙂

  14. Jane says:

    Waitrose do own-brand recycled paper loo roll I discovered on unscheduled Christmas shopping visit. Also found large packs of Nouvelle (missing from other supermarkets for weeks to my irritation). I understand Nouvelle is made in Wales – it must be one of the very few paper mills left in the UK – so many mills have closed. Lidl hasn’t been on my routes anywhere for months.

  15. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: thanks Jane. I managed to get some recycled paper in Sainsburys before Christmas too, so things are looking up …

  16. Emily says:

    After having a baby last year and seeing a)how expensive baby wipes are, b)how much packaging is used and c)how many nasty chemicals are used, even in the ‘natural’ ones, we swiftly started using muslin and old fleece squares and warm water. Easy to pop in the nappy-bucket and then wash along with the nappies. Which made me start thinking about loo-roll and whether we could use the same system… not for the faint hearted perhaps, although now my baby is on solids and without going into too much detail, is there that much difference between baby’s er, waste and our waste?! We haven’t gone down that route yet, and i imagine we’d need some toilet paper in stock for less hardy guests. But in terms of softness, nice fleece squares win every time! 🙂
    And just as washable nappies are more energy efficient, eco etc even with the energy of washing, so would washing loo-squares! There, i’m sold.

  17. Mrs Green says:

    @Emily: Hi Emily, great comment – thank you! We did the same with nappy wipes – just old flannels along with some sesame oil and witch hazel. It worked a treat! We’ve considered wee wipes, but I’m not ready to embrace the other end 😉

  18. Jane says:

    Do you know how to wipe your bottom?

    (That’s a general you! :)) What?! Been doing it for years I hear you say! Well we ladies need to be particularly careful to wipe our separate bits in opposite directions so as to avoid contamination from back to front. Urinary tract infections are often caused by cross contamination – so make sure to get into this habit… and always drink plenty of water.

    Men are designed differently… but still need to be careful!

    Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be serious as well as seriously uncomfortable. The elderly who often reduce their liquid intake are particularly at risk of these and may become confused and wander. Just take care and be aware.

    BTW This is International Women’s Day!

  19. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Yep, good reminder on international women’s day – thanks Jane. Especially poignant as I read a story about a celebrity this weekend who had ignored symptoms of cystitis and ended up ruining her kidneys and collapsing. She needs to read this blog eh?! 😉

  20. Christina1314 says:

    Have you heard of Bum Boosa toilet paper? I use this for two years.

    Bum Boosa toilet paper, made from 100% bamboo processed with the mechanical pulping method, is tree-free, biodegradable, BPA-free, and elemental chlorine-free and it breaks down quickly.

    The following is the information I got from Bum Boosa official website:
    The Bum Boosa® team is the first worldwide to develop bamboo bathroom tissue! Research has very recently shown that toilet paper made with recycled content is a source of BPAs (bisphenols) that are leaching into the groundwater and effecting drinking water, habitat, and soil quality. This is due to paper recycling practices. Bum Boosa® Bamboo Bathroom Tissue is made from the virgin material of bamboo which is a renewable, sustainable resource and does not require irrigation, pesticides, or replanting after harvest. Whitened without chemicals containing elemental chlorine, our bamboo bathroom tissue also has no added fragrances or dyes.

  21. Mrs Green says:

    @Christina1314: Hi Christina, I’d not heard of it; thanks for sharing all that helpful information. It’s good to hear about other people’s experiences and the products and brands that are out there 🙂

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