For decades, toilet paper has had a tube at the center to help it roll around and release the tissue. The 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the US currently account for 160 million pounds of trash.
But if Kimberly-Clark, one of the world's biggest makers of household paper products has its way, the toilet paper tube's days are numbered.
The CPG company is about to start test-marketing Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper at Walmart and Sam's Club stores throughout the Northeast.
True product change doesn't come easy to traditional package goods--except when it increase sales, lower costs, and benefit the brand as a whole. But, as Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark says about the tubless technology, "We found a way to bring innovation to a category as mature as bath tissue."
So, if If sales take off, cost efficiencies can be had and a halo of "environmental friendliness" can be wrapped around the Kimberly-Clark brand, the company may introduce the line nationally and globally — and even consider adapting the technology into its paper towel brands.
The new tubless rolls apparently aren't quite as perfectly round as their environmentally insensitive bretheren, but they do fit over standard toilet paper roll spindles and come with this promise: Even the last piece of toilet paper will be usable — without glue stuck on it.
"It's a positive example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental impact," says Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Source: USA Today