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Taking the Trash out of Product Design

As we continue to strive towards a sustainable world, many companies are taking innovative approaches to product design and packaging. We all know how frustrating it is particularly during Christmas when one sees all the excess paper and cardboard that is left over after presents are unwrapped. But what about everyday items. Fast Company reports on one company’s attempt to lessen its impact (and probably save money too) by developing tube-free toilet roll. Yes, you heard right, toilet rolls! 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. Their Scott Naturals Tube-Free, a line of tube-free toilet paper will be launched on Monday at Wal-Mart  stores throughout the northeastern part of the U.S. The Scott Naturals line features toilet paper containing 40% recycled material too.

The company also is looking at water use in the toilet,  recognizing that toilet flushing is actually the No. 1 use of water in the home, the company last month launched an initiative whereby it’s giving out a free water conservation tool with every purchase of its Scott Naturals bath tissue. The product, the Smart Flush bag, offers a safe and easy way for households to save water. When placed in the toilet tank, the material in the bag absorbs water and expands. By taking up space in the tank, the bag makes less available for water, with the result that each flush uses up to one liter less water than it normally would. More information on this product and others can be found on the springwise website.

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