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?

    • Andrex is not ‘fine’ as it is not cruelty free. The company tests on animals!

      • did you know that the electronic device you’re TYPING ON RIGHT NOW has either gold or copper in its wiring, which was definitely farmed by, quite cruely, “forcing” animals out of their habitats for the sake or gold or copper mining?

        If you didn’t care about animal cruelty, you shouldn’t own any electronic device, just live off the grid.

        Sure, its inconvenient, but possible, is your computer or iphone more important than the continued “holocaust” of billions of animals being chased from their property to develop such items?

    • What about Andrex comfort that says it contains a “touch of silk” ? I assume they mean silk worm larvae are killed for the paper but I can’t find confirmation.

  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

    • Yet here we are, no doubt using a PC or mobile device largely built by human beings working for slave wages in appalling conditions, sleeping in 20 bed dormitories and peeing in buckets, probably only seeing their families only once every three months.

      Is the ‘vegan’ toilet paper debate really a global priority?

      • Not suggesting that toilet paper is more important than the topics you suggest. It is a small change we can make will fighting broader injustices in the world. We don’t have to limit our compassion.

  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’

  7. Unbelievable where and how they sneak it in. I have read too that they ad it to bicycle tyres, car tyres and NOT to forget ALL vaccines!

  8. I just spoke to Waitrose and they said that their own brand is free from animal derivatives and I asked to see the MSDS sheets, but they said they won’t be able to supply those…..

  9. Are we getting a bit bogged down with this?

  10. Aldi toilet paper good!

    ‘All our products and all raw materials used in our products, are cruelty free and not tested on animals and are not made from any animal substances.’

    • That’s amazing!!! Great, cus I was getting worried about the one I had!!
      But… They have diff branded rolls there right??
      And typically speaking Aldi are one of the least ethical and least vegan friendly shops still outstanding.. I though that included all their toiletries etc?

    • Even the glue?

  11. Before I contact them, I thought I’d check has anyone asked Lidl about their toilet roll?

  12. Thank you for your email regarding Regina Blitz.
    We do not use any animal products in any of our production process. However, because we use external companies to provide our materials; we cannot trace back enough, in order for us to suggest that the product is 100% Vegan.
    Thank you once again for contacting us and for your valuable feedback.

  13. I’ve used seventh generation toilet paper and loved it. It is not tested on animals. It’s natural.

    • That does not make it vegan. Testing has nothing to do with ingredients.

      An aside, People also forget to ask about glue on the end of the roll.

  14. I too am concerned about animal products in my tissue paper but I am also concerned about chemicals in my tissue paper too. While I do not want to harm animals I also do not want to be harmed. Quite frankly I do not want chemicals touching my skin thus being obsorbed into my pours. Does anyone else feel this way?

    • Rick – everything is made from chemicals. Paper, protein, sugar, salt, glass. You name it, it’s made up of chemicals.

    • I very much feel this way!!…. And I understand what you mean by “chemicals”… Unwanted’s and toxins!

  15. Hi, I’ve recently subscribe to ‘who gives a crap’ because of their ethics, anyone know if they vegan?

    • That seems like a good choice, Vic. Ethical Consumer rates Who Gives a Crap recycled paper and Ecoleaf paper the highest of the toilet papers. The WGAC bamboo paper was not far behind (no pun intended, ha!).

      A Guardian article called ‘Is there such a thing as vegan loo roll?’ says WGAC “claims to be vegan” and Ethical Superstore lists both the bamboo and recycled paper as vegan products so it seems to be free from animal products… I’ve not managed to find a more definitive answer yet.

      Also, Who Gives a Crap is a certified B Corp ad Ecoleaf is a brand of Suma Wholefoods, which is a workers co-operative. They seem like good companies to support in general.

    • Yes, it is vegan

  16. Ask about the glue, which is in all toilet paper rolls, but can conveniently be dismissed by companies Strictly talking about toilet paper itself.

  17. Cheeky Panda are registered with the Vegan Society.

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