Los Angeles – With the thousands of patent applications submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for various technological innovations each year, personal care product manufacturer Kimberly-Clark (KMB) has jumped on the bandwagon with its very own patent pending rolling system tubeless technology. Back in 2010, Clark subsidiary Scott Naturals launched Tube-Free Toilet Paper, a roll of toilet paper sans the cardboard tube in the middle.
The company estimates that with 17 billion tubes used annually, approximately 160 million pounds of waste is not recycled. Although the tubes are 100% recyclable, most are thrown away. Environmentalists cringe at the thought of all those cardboard tubes needlessly filling up landfills. The amount of rolls discarded is the approximate weight of more than 250 747 airliners. One can agree that Kimberly-Clark is headed in the right direction with its new eco-friendly invention but was saving the planet its only motive?
As commodities prices continue to skyrocket, it’s no wonder that Clark is doing whatever it can to cover its bottom-line. Analysts for Kimberly-Clark have predicted that profits for 2010 won’t meet their expectations and third quarter net income for 2010 fell by nearly 20%. Even with consumer usage and prices at an all time high, Clark and other large corporations are finding themselves spending more and more to manufacturer products. With the price of crude-oil increasing and in this case the cost of paper, tube-free toilet paper is a win-win.
The toilet paper giant wouldn’t comment on how much money the absent cardboard roll will save, but agreed that it will make a difference.