Toilet paper not vegan?

OK. You might want to sit down for this one.

A reader contacted me yesterday and asked if I knew that not all toilet paper is vegan.

My reaction:


As vegans, we try to reduce our participation in animal cruelty by removing all animal-derived products as much as possible.

No meat? Check. Get rid of dairy? Easy. Make sure I don’t use shampoo that has been tested on animals? Way ahead of you on that one in my non-leather shoes!

But toilet paper? Honestly, toilet paper!

It is tough to know where animal by-products are being used and we do our best, but I would never have guessed that toilet paper can be manufactured with ingredients such as gelatine.

This explanatory email from Velvet sheds some light on the issue:

Strictly speaking, Tissue products (toilet paper, hankies, facials, kitchen towel) cannot fulfil the strict requirements for vegan/vegetarian products. Our products consist of more than 95% of cellulose and 5% residual moisture. The paper making process requires the addition of process aids and chemicals, to ensure the required functionality of the tissue products. All added tissue ingredients/ process aids have to be approved for safe use according the relevant chemical legislation in Europe. For approval toxicity tests are required. Secondly, we cannot exclude, that some tissue additives/process aids might be based on animal derived chemistry (e.g. Gelatin, fatty acids, etc.).

Yep, the paper you use to wipe your private parts could possibly have been made using gelatine and fatty acids… and kitchen towel and facial tissues as well!

Fucking heck!

A further response from Tesco is a bit of good news, however:

I can happily confirm that none of Tesco own brand toilet paper is made with any animal derived products.

None of us want to buy anything derived from animal products, so let’s keep each other informed on this topic.

Please post your information and company responses in the comments below. Let’s work together to make sure our loo roll is as compassionate as possible. Reach out to your favourite toilet paper, tissue and kitchen towel company and then share their responses here.


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Written by fatgayvegan

  1. All Andrex products are OK, which one is not according to your source?

  2. God darn it what’s wrong with people, why would you want to rub dead animal part over your fanny. I’m now off to check my loo paper x

  3. We buy a variety,supermarkets own (co-op or sainsburys), andrex and formerly cushelle which from a quick search seems to be the one the source is referring to primarily.

    • *clarifying rushed post
      I meant that cushelle seemed to be the one referred to. I would like to know about the others though and cannot find anything offhand.

    • Donna,

      Really! Andrex is owned by K.C. and I have a very strong feeling that most if not all of what they do will not have the greater good at the top of their wish list !

      • chris.

        really yes. since i dont give the company money because of how i end up with it (no not stolen) so yes my concern is with the ingredients. ill wait to see if that is ok by you.

        Actually nah I got my answer below and I can think for myself 🙂

  4. Sainsbury’s “don’t use animal derivatives in our toilet paper products” – see tweet

    • Good to know thank you 😀

  5. From waitrose…
    @somematty Hi Matty, no our toilet paper does not use in process of making it any products derived from animals! Thank you

  6. I got my friend at asda to check their shades range they ce back with ‘They can’t 100% guarantee vegan friendly in shades as the paper they use contains 5% residual moisture that comes from a chemical process that may contain trace amounts of animal derived chemistry. Basically they are vegan but they are not allowed to call it vegan due to the possibility of some animal derived elements included in the mix of recycled paper’

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