This post is kindly sponsored by Who Gives A Crap, a brand I have been a fan of for a while now. I was delighted when they asked me to review their recycled toilet paper. As always, I only work with brands I genuinely love and want to share. All words and opinions are my own.
I’m the kinda girl who judges loo roll by it’s cover.
And here’s why…
All too often, toilet paper brands are desperate to tell me what’s inside their product. How it’s made of recycled content or forest friendly materials. What their CO2 emissions are throughout production and how I am helping to save the planet with every single wipe…
And then they go and wrap it all in plastic.
Nasty, clingy, tricky to recycle, ending-up-in-our-food chain, blighting our oceans, petroleum-based plastic. You know, the stuff that is now shown to be present in over 80% of all tap water tested?
It’s as if the fact that it’s transparent means we just don’t see it. But, the most transparent packaging I’ve seen on loo roll to date actually comes from Who Gives A Crap.
They literally tell you all of the amazing things they do as company on the paper that covers each roll. No plastic. Now that’s my kind of transparent packaging.
It’s this very packaging that initially caught my attention when I first found out about Who Gives A Crap. I mean, the rainbow colours and snazzy prints are kinda hard to miss and who could forget a name like that? Especially if you love a pun as much as I do.
Since embarking on my zero waste journey over 4 years ago, finding a toilet paper option that I felt good about has been a constant challenge. In fact, Zero Wasters, especially those of us based in the UK have had a bit of a bum deal when it comes to finding loo roll wrapped in paper instead of plastic.
A year ago I started hearing about an Aussie toilet paper brand, called Who Gives A Crap, that came wrapped in paper. *cue godly music*.
They also seemed to care a heck of a lot about the environment and crucially, they loved puns.
Tick and tick!
They donate 50% of their profits to provide toilets and sanitation in developing countries, partnering with charities such as WaterAid.
Alarmingly, almost 900 children under five die everyday due to a lack of adequate toilets and diseases associated with poor sanitation. To date, Who Gives A Crap has donated AU $1,175,000 to fund hygiene and sanitation projects.
And that’s just the start of all the good things they do.
By making their toilet paper from either 100% bamboo or 100% recycled paper, they have so far saved 50,586 trees. Not bad when you consider that worldwide, approximately 270,000 trees are either flushed or sent to landfill EVERY DAY, 10% of which is attributed to our poor toilet paper choices. And don’t even get me started on those irksome “flushable” (they’re not flushable!) wipes that are blocking up our sewage systems and costing Thames Water £12 million a year to remove. How did loo roll become such a mess?
I had just popped out of our flat when the delivery of Who Gives A Crap arrived so they kindly left it with the estate agency directly below us. I asked my husband to swing by and collect it when he arrived home. He swung through our front door with a smile, saying the box had been quite the conversation starter. Apparently Andrew, who works at the estate agency, seemed rather tickled by the enormous “You’ve Got A Nice Bum” printed on the box.
The only plastic comes in the form of the tape, which is used sparingly (no double-taping! Only two pieces – one down the centre of the top and another down the bottom) – from reading their response to comments on facebook about this, I believe Who Gives A Crap are currently looking for a plastic free alternative that would hold up in transit. When compared to the amount of plastic that normally comes with toilet paper, this is minimal, but I’d love to see a replacement for this.
Unboxing the toilet paper is a surprisingly fun experience! It’s like unwrapping a rainbow! (Sunglasses made be needed). The cheerful array of colours and various prints that envelop each roll brought a smile to my face, making a typically gloomy, wet weather day in London a little more bearable.
And that’s one of the (many) things I love about Who Gives A Crap. They have managed to turn a humdrum, everyday, barely-notice-it’s-there-until-it-isn’t product into something that can brighten your mood…. And your bathroom too! I found myself eager to display the rolls on our only bathroom shelf, giving them pride of place. These were far too snazzy to sit hidden in the cupboard under the sink.
Wait, let me take a shelfie! 😉
The cheerful packaging is in keeping with Who Gives A Crap’s overall message. One of hope.
Yes, it’s very serious that people can die from poor sanitation and lack of access to clean toilets. And it’s pretty crappy that most toilet paper on the market today is made from virgin trees.
But, grumbling about all of the bad things we’re doing to our environment and highlighting the terrible-awfuls of the toilet paper industry with messages of doom and gloom isn’t going to make our friends, family and house guests suddenly want to switch to tree-free loo roll…. Positive messages, humour and a quality product that looks awesome, on the other hand, will!
CASE IN POINT:
I was telling my brother about Who Gives A Crap during one of our many phone conversations which, incidentally, often happen when he’s on the loo (he hates his own company!) – I started explaining excitedly how I’d finally found a loo roll brand with sustainability at the core AND how they work with organisations like WaterAid partnered with the charity Water Aid and Sanergy, donating 50% of their profits to help build clean, safe toilets in countries that were lacking in facilities.
“Oh that’s amazing!” he piped up. I was momentarily stunned. Unlike our many previous conversations, which usually involve me telling him about “eco this” and “zero waste that”, this was the first time he’d genuinely shown an interest. “What was the brand called again?” he asked.
“Who Gives A Crap” I repeated.
“Great name! And they deliver to your door?” He’s a big fan of puns and convenience…
I also had some fellow bloggers over for a shoot the following weekend and let’s just say they were rather taken with the bright paper-packaged rolls decorating our bathroom shelf.
One blogger even shared the display on her Instagram stories and then asked if she could take a roll home to try. Another said she had been inspired to reuse the packaging from her Who Gives A Crap delivery after seeing how artfully I had wrapped a gift for our Christmas-themed shoot with one of the wrappers I’d save from my first ever order.
Which brings me onto another reason why I love Who Gives A Crap more than any other toilet paper brand thus far.
The Zero Waste lifestyle is guided by following the 5 Rs in order: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. I repeat…. In order.
With all other loo roll brands I was jumping straight to the recycle or rot stage. However, the snazzy paper from Who Gives A Crap, can and has been re-used, time and again, before it eventually gets recycled.
1.WHO GIVES A WRAP?
Who needs expensive wrapping paper which may not be recyclable when I can use the colourful patterned wrap I’ve saved from my loo roll? It always makes people chuckle too!
2.WHO GIVES A (DOGGY) CRAP?
Whilst looking after my brother’s dog for a week, I was determined to avoid the nasty plastic poop-bags and instead carried the Who Gives A Crap outer wrap to pick up any mess. It worked!
3.WHO GIVES A CROP TOP?
Not my most practical idea, I’ll confess, but it certainly points for creativity! I had just unwrapped a new roll of Who Gives A Crap toilet paper and found myself creating a makeshift crop top. Because… isn’t that what we do on Friday nights now?
Whilst the wrap itself is not currently made from recycled content, Who Gives A Crap have offset this by trimming 1mm off each sheet of toilet paper to compensate and they’re actively looking for alternative paper suppliers who can print on to recycled paper. And the wrap is recyclable… once you’re done making fashion items out of it.
I’ve seen a lot of people on social media asking to receive the rolls without any paper wrapping, which, for the time being, isn’t currently an option owing to the fact that they need to wrap the rolls to keep them hygienic and free from moisture. Seeing as I can reuse the outer wrap for many things (see above!), I’m personally fine with this for now but would certainly love to see a wrapping-free option in the future.
PUT TO THE TEST
In regards to the quality of the toilet paper, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I bought another brand of loo roll that is plastic free (by Greencane) and gave my husband a sheet of each to feel (he didn’t know which one was which). I then asked him to tell me which felt was the softest.
I had expected the Greencane bamboo roll to have an unfair advantage seeing as it was made from bamboo, which is often softer, whilst the Who Gives A Crap roll was made from recycled paper.
But I presumed wrong and was somewhat surprised when he announced that the one in his left hand (camera right!) was the softest. The recycled sheet from Who Gives A Crap had won.
Both Who Gives A Crap and Greencane deliver boxes of 48 toilet rolls.
Greencane Bamboo TP
300 sheets per roll
Who Gives A Crap Recycled TP
400 sheets per roll
After crunching the numbers, factoring in delivery costs and the number of sheets per roll, Who Gives A Crap Recycled Toilet Paper worked out to be cheaper…
…at 18.8 pence (0.25 USD cents) per 100 sheets compared with Greencane at just over 20 pence (0.27 USD cents) per 100 sheets if you include their £4.80 delivery cost (costs sourced from Greencane.com, Nov 2017).
And the Who Gives A Crap roll (left) is significantly larger than the one from Greencane (right).
LET’S GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS:
So far so good! But there are still a few questions that keep cropping up from followers on instagram whenever I have posted a picture featuring Who Gives A Crap. Whilst the majority of people love their loo rolls, some are concerned about the fact that the products are made in China and also where the bamboo is sourced and how is it processed.
I decided to throw these questions and a few other burning ones over to the Who Gives A Crap HQ and have them settle our minds once and for all. I’ll be sharing their answers with you guys very soon. Watch this space!
As the company grows, I’d love to see them offer an non-whitened loo roll. Whilst a lot of people, myself included, would be more than happy to use a toilet roll that isn’t white, I can think of several friends and family members who might be put off no matter how good the roll is. But nice to have the option.
And I think this is where Who Gives A Crap can really make a significant difference when it comes to changing public opinion about eco-friendly toilet paper and getting more people to choose better loo roll. It’s fun. Witty. Perhaps a little aspirational… and it’s certainly a feature worthy of any home tour.
If people can easily switch something as simple as loo roll without feeling like they’re making a compromise then that might just be the catalyst for other positive, more environmentally kind changes in their lives. So I’ll leave you with this fact to ponder the next time you’re on the loo….
According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council, “if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.”
That’s just one roll. Imagine what we could do with a box of 48!
How about that for a reason to go tree-free?