Monday 7 October 2019

Review - Cheeky Panda Range

This is my sixth review on plastic alternatives. I'm reducing plastics for my 50th year on this planet!

Scoring system: 

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Six - Bamboo for Noses & Bottoms!

My desire to look at alternative loo roll was two-fold, A) can I find loo roll that uses more sustainable use of trees and B) is that loo roll available in plastic free packaging?

I found that a company called Cheeky Panda not only produces toilet roll made from bamboo pulp which is naturally antibacterial and is faster growing than other trees helping to absorb CO2 in the process, but also the product (strictly speaking bamboo is a fast growing grass) has an FSC stamp, awarded by the Forest Stewardship Council for properly managed forested areas. 

According to the company video they use stock that grows wild in mountains in China that is farmed by co-operative farmers. They are trying to reduce plastic packaging and have been looking at D2W type of packaging which biodegrades. This is a still a type of plastic though but the company have released some plastic free packages (includes tissues, toilet roll and kitchen roll in a box with no internal plastics involved) or you can select a four pack of loo roll available in a paper wrap.

I purchased both of these options to try them out. The four pack in paper is more expensive than the other rolls in their range which is a downside. I found also that the multi plastic free pack ordered from Amazon may arrive with plastic packaging on the outside (the driver said he took off the plastic in the van so I didn't see it myself).

My thoughts on the Cheeky Panda Range

Kitchen Roll - looks no different to normal kitchen roll. Is plain white & has an embossed pattern (a bit like artex swirls on the ceiling back in the day). Absorbs well, no problems to report. 

I do love patterned kitchen rolls though and can only see Cheeky Panda stock in plain embossed. They don't use dyes and like to be natural so I would be asking too much for anything different!

TissuesThe tissues are strong & ultra absorbent. Great for occasional sniffles, however for regular sniffles we usually opt for products with balm (especially during colds or hay fever season) so may just keep these for occasional moments. 

A great PLUS apart from the cute panda logo is that the tissue cube & rectangular tissue box both have no plastic section in the top (the bit where the tissues come out). 

No pulling out bits of plastic when you're ready to recycle the box (& no, it doesn't affect the ability to pull out tissues, still works fine once you tease out the 1st one in the packet).

Cheeky Panda Bamboo Tissues Plastic Free

Toilet roll - I'm very impressed with this and if you opt for the four pack in paper packaging it's a really cute outer cover. Or you can opt for the plastic free box that has tissues, kitchen roll and loo roll in it instead. It looks smaller than normal loo roll but so strong that I have often only needed one sheet. It doesn't turn to mush like most loo rolls do but certainly soft enough for personal use.

It's great that it's non scented, non irritating and anti-bacterial too. The plastic free combination box (that also came with tissues and kitchen roll) had the loo rolls loose in the box. No extra plastic packaging to keep them together which was more than fine as they sat in the box until needed. 

I've found that although the roll looks smaller & thinner it actually lasted a long time as I could get away with using less. Even wiping down the bath or shower after hair washing was a doddle as the paper holds up against water very well. Being dust free makes it perfect for cleaning glasses too!

Some reviewers on Amazon have found that because of its strength it may not break down as fast as normal loo paper. So in heavy use households I would avoid flushing too much down the loo. I use it sparingly & some goes in the bin instead, ready to go in the compost. 

Cheeky Panda Loo Roll from Amazon

Where to buy?

The downside is having to order them in specially (Tesco used to stock cheeky panda but not at the moment but you may spot it in some Morrison's stores) and you need to look out for the plastic free packs. 

Amazon online and some green stores like ethical superstore sell them or you can buy from Cheeky Panda direct as they have a plastic free section on their site. They are working hard to improve their packaging options and have just noticed they offer plastic free multi packs of pocket tissues too.
My Verdict!

Overall rating is a love 
 but will need to use sparingly to avoid blocking toilets and the lack of balm in the tissues may lead to sore noses during heavy cold season, so we will alternate with our usual balsam tissues when we need to. Great product though..

Why not check out this cute video to learn more about Cheeky Panda!