There aren't many exciting developments in the toilet paper industry. Kimberly-Clark is trying to change that with Scott Naturals Tube-Free, a line of tube-free toilet paper set to debut Monday at Walmart and Sam's Club stores throughout the northeastern U.S. Not that exciting, you say? Consider this: Kimberly-Clark estimates that the 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced each year in the U.S. generate 160 million pounds of trash, or enough tubing to stretch over a million miles when placed end to end.
Tubeless toilet paper apparently isn't as easy to make as it sounds—in an interview with USA Today, Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark, refused to explain the tubeless toilet paper's "special winding process," though he did say that it's similar to a process used on bath tissue that the company sells to businesses.
This is just the latest in a series of moves made by the toilet paper giant to appease its environmentally aware detractors. Last year, Kimberly-Clark agreed to source 100% of wood fiber used in its tissue products from sustainable sources. The Scott Naturals line, which also debuted in 2009, features toilet paper containing 40% recycled material. The one exception to that is the tubeless toilet paper, but Kimberly-Clark says future versions will contain more recycled content. That is, if customers decide to welcome the tubeless toilet paper revolution.