OK, toilet paper now comes with printed designs or with quilting to make it more comfortable to use, but the way it's dispensed has remained the same -- paper on a roll around a cardboard tube. That's the way toilet paper has been sold for 100 years.
That's about to change, as Kimberly-Clark announced it is testing a "tubeless" toilet paper roll for its Scott line of toilet paper. K-C says they may eventually use the tubeless technology for its paper towel products as well.
K-C hopes this will give their toilet paper a competive edge, as the first to be "green." They figure eliminating the 17 billion cardboard tubes sold every year can reduce trash by 160 million pounds. My guess it will also trim their material and production costs a bit. Let's see if the product is priced a bit lower. Or will the cost savings just add to K-C's bottom line?
One possible problem with going tubeless... the toilet paper rolls can get squished easier and may not roll as smoothly when you pull the paper. But maybe that's balanced by a benefit -- You'll actually get to use that last piece of toilet paper that usually stays stuck with glue to the cardboard tube.
Doing the math: 17 billion x one extra sheet... That's a lot of clean tushes.