Man holding a roll of toilet paper in bathroom.
6 May 2020

Consumer NZ breaks down 26 toilet papers in latest test

Test assessed separation ease, disintegration time, environmental factors and puncture resistance.

Consumer NZ’s test of 26 toilet papers finds loo roll that’s kind on your skin isn't always the kindest to the environment or your plumbing.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said, with the growing importance of making greener purchasing choices, there was more to picking the best bog roll than just comfort.

“We were especially keen to see which loo papers broke down quickest. We were surprised that the softest product, Kleenex Complete Care (extra thick sheets), took a whopping 11 minutes to disintegrate – 20 times longer than EarthCare 100% Recycled, which took 32 seconds,” Mr Duffy said.

“We’ve known for some time the importance of toilet papers to New Zealanders – it’s a product that consumers regularly tell us they want to be tested. We want to ensure Kiwis have the best information available to help them make good purchasing decisions in this critical area.”

Consumer NZ assessed separation ease, disintegration time, environmental factors and, critically, puncture resistance to produce its toilet paper ratings.

“Products containing recycled or sustainably sourced paper or that are manufactured in New Zealand using locally sourced raw materials were awarded higher scores.”

Printed, perfumed and bleached products lost points because of the additional environmental impacts of these processes.

“We think manufacturers should be minimising unnecessary features in products where those features consume extra resources.”

Consumer NZ also considered softness, but it wasn’t included in its overall rating.

“It’s a sensitive area and results vary depending on whether the user is a folder or a scruncher. We didn’t want to give anyone a bum steer,” Mr Duffy said.

The good news is there are products that have a lower environmental impact and allow consumers to take the time to treat themselves to a higher level of comfort.

Recommended and "Don't buy" toilet papers

Of the 26 products tested, 10 got Consumer NZ’s recommendation. These were:

  • Earthcare 100% recycled unscented white rolls
  • Savers Printed toilet tissue
  • Sorbent Silky White long rolls
  • Sorbent Thick & Long Silky White (king size)
  • EarthSmart 360º Recyclable Paper Pack 100% Recycled Paper long rolls
  • Purex Soft White
  • Quilton Hypo-allergenic unscented
  • Sorbent Hypo-allergenic Thick & Large (king size)
  • Quilton Ecoply (unscented)
  • Sorbent Hypo-allergenic Pure White long rolls

Three products were “Don’t buys”:

  • Essentials White toilet tissue
  • Necessities Toilet tissue
  • Kleenex Complete Clean (extra thick sheets) toilet tissue

See the full test results for the 26 toilet papers here.

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