Hold the Cardboard, Please

As most Greenies know, there are some items on the less than desirable list. Things like extraneous packaging or superfluous content within items. The added waste will get thrown away, and yes, many times recycled, but it still causes the entire system to be weighed down by its mere presence.

First the extra has to be manufactured and often this is by use of all new, virgin materials. Next it will be packaged up and shipped causing added poundage on sometimes very overloaded trucks. Finally it will be purchased and disposed of, only to cycle back around by the consumer.

Well what if that little extra was taken out of the equation entirely? What if there was a way to create the original item without the added resource of the add-on? This is exactly the question the makers of Scott Brand Tissue asked when they, no pun intended, rolled out their pilot tubeless toilet paper rolls back in October!

As a company who strives to keep their eye on the planet, their cardboard inserts were already created out of 100% recycled content. Additionally, the company strives to recycle all the waste water that the paper products utilize while in their creation phase and they have actively put programs in place to strive for zero landfill waste from their facilities. Not to mention they aim towards energy conservation in the manufacturing process wherever possible and share their entire process freely with the public here.

Not bad for a company that produces ‘one and done’ paper products, but for them it simply wasn’t enough.

According to the press release by parent company Kimberly-Clark, Scott was the first ever manufacturer to put toilet tissue onto a cardboard tube over 100 years ago so they’re pretty excited to be the first to remove the insert and go tube free!

salinascraftroom utilizes cardboard for the cover of this journal, the paper inside is 100% recycled!

Over 85% of consumers interviewed admitted to not recycling the little tube. And it many not seem like much but the introduction of this product is slated to save over 160 million pounds of waste from being added to landfills nationwide, just because of that teeny little insert alone. We recycle ours so I’m happy to be the exception as opposed to the norm but clearly the norm was winning this battle.

But hopefully not for long!

Currently being test marketed at Walmart and Sam’s Club Stores only, the pilot program is a way to enhance the experience of the consumer in these stores while helping to propel their own Green initiatives as well. A win-win.

I know that the big box stores get a bad rap sometimes and it is truly understandable to want to avoid them, especially as independent artists and entrepreneurs like we have in this group. But (and this is a big but!) if big name companies like Scott are looking to reach a sector of the market that has less interest in the planet than ensuring their family has food in their bellies, and they can do just that in stores like Walmart or Sam’s Club then I for one am all for it!

These stores exist because their prices are low and in tough times like these, sometimes a low price trumps everything else. So if they’re going to stick around anyway they might as well get a little planet friendly in the process! The good news for most families is that the price for tubeless tissue will not be more expensive than its sister product with the insert. Kimberly-Clark states that the price will remain the same.

recupefashion utilizes already existing cardboard like tissue & cereal boxes to make their gift tags!

As a family on the edge ourselves we have been known to frequent one of these stores for our grocery shopping as it tends to save us over $30 every trip. For our little family that adds up to almost $1500 at the end of the year and that money is quite vital to our survival here in the all too expensive northeast sector of the United States. Next time we need toilet tissue and find ourselves in this store I fully intend to give this new Scott Brand a try.

How about you? How do you feel about the reduction of cardboard from the toilet tissue market, and do you recycle or reuse the tube in your house?  What about other cardboard items?  Tell us about it!

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  1. We recycle everything in our house, too. One thing that really helps is to have small blue recycle garbage cans in the bathroom, kitchen etc. It makes it easier and is a great reminder to recycle.

  2. @Recycled parts – Yea for recycling everything! We do the same, even down to the teeniest piece of plastic or paper!

    @andrea – Yes I couldn’t agree more that although its a step it is small and larger companies should have the resources to do that much more to promote the planet love.

    @kathy – Hankies are a great idea instead of tissues. My grandfather always had one and it just got washed at the end of the day with the rest of the laundry. No waste!

    @juanita – Thanks so much! I love to hear that you are providing the information to your family to get Greener, that’s great. They may not have it down yet but just keep at it and they will eventually get it :-)

    @Janet – Yes that thought occurred to me as well, the parent company does have their hands in many different jars right now. My thoughts on that are that if we Greenies tell ten friends (and so on, and so on…) about the more environmentally friendly products they manufacture and tell those same friends NOT to purchase the ‘one and done’ items the natural progression will be to move toward a Greener alternative and the company, knowing they still want to make a profit to stay thriving, will have no choice but to shift their way of thinking because all of their consumers have. Companies of course are in it to make a profit so if we show them that bigger profits can come from Greener alternatives, well…you get the idea! Call me the silver lining girl but I believe that collectively we can come together to consciously make the changes we want to see happen!

  3. On the one hand, it’s nice to see a company cutting waste by getting rid of the cardboard tubes. On the other hand, Kimberly Clark (the maker of Scotties) is the same parent company of Kleenex, who now makes those ridiculously wasteful single-use paper hand towels for the home bathroom, discouraging the use of reusable hand towels. So I don’t necessarily have faith in their current efforts to appear eco-friendly. Why promote eco-friendliness with one brand, and promote waste with another?

  4. Great article. I always buy my TP from Trader joes because it says it’s made from 100% recycled material. It would be great to see them get rid of the cardboard tube. I feel so overwhelmed at times when my roommates(mom, and husband) just throw stuff away, so I try to repurpose as much as I can. I’m working on a project that will have me collecting all the plastics into one art piece. It pretty embarrassing how much plastic we use, and trying to get my mom and husband to understand that they don’t need some of this stuff wrapped in plastic. Thanks for the info. Juanita

  5. This is great….thank you for the info…and all the posts. Here in our home we use hankies, not tissues. Until we get our hands on tubeless tp, I keep the tubes for the kids’ crafts at sunday school, also, cover with post consumer wrap for gift box, all our appliance cords are in tp rolls including the sewing machine, et al.

  6. Glad to see changes being made but again I wish companies would do so much more,which they could if they wanted to.They tend to make such small changes and it’s sort of like throwing us a bone just to placate us.But it is amazing as the article pointed out ,the impact even a small change can make.It’s just not enough though in the big scheme of things.I love these articles.They’re very well written and help us to stay awake and aware.

  7. If it is recyclable, then it gets recycled in our house, no exceptions.

    I do like the idea of no tube, it is a start, but I think these companies need to be doing much more. It is still better in my opinion to buy things from companies that not only use 100% recycled materials, but also use very little packaging AND run their whole businesses green, rather than supporting companies that are just now starting to change their practices in very small ways.

    Great article though, I enjoyed reading it.

  8. Becky that’s the one thing I couldn’t find about this particular product. They do have some listed that have 100% recycled content & then the 100% recycled tube would be the icing. I just like to see any big company like this take steps to get smart about what they do. Thinking about it & getting creative with waste saving is a good start to me. I guess I prefer this over companies that don’t even consider their impact at all ya know?

    We do the same thing Jennifer! It makes it really easy to make sure the cords are labled correctly & go to the right place when we move things around & whatnot. You’re right about the ratios though. But every little bit helps!

  9. I am VERY glad to hear about the removal of the cardboard tubes, but I totally hear Becky’s comment!
    Just as a side note, we use the cardboard TP tubes to slide bundled appliance cords (for hairdryers, curling irons, etc.) into for easy storage. Obviously, we generate more cardboard tubes than we can use for this purpose, but I just wanted to post it…

  10. So is the TP itself 100% recycled finally? I’ve always thought of Scotts and Kimberly Clark as master greenwashers. If they ditched the 100% recycled tube but are still razing virgin forests for all of that TP, I think the planet loses in that scenario. :/