Kimberly-Clark Claims Global First for Recyclable Hand Towel Core Plug

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Kimberly-Clark Professional™ has added 100 per cent bio-based and recyclable core plugs in its Scott® and Kleenex® hand towel ranges in the EMEA region in what the company’s describing as an industry first.

The plastic-free core plugs are made primarily from starch and fibre, replacing plastic core plugs currently in use. It is estimated to reduce plastic by over 30 tons every year – the equivalent weight of 1.5 million plastic bottles.

Designed to help cleaning professionals improve efficiency and recycling rates while simplifying the waste management process, the solution reduces time be eliminating a common requirement for hand towel rolls to be replaced by first separating card-based hand towel rolls from a plastic core plug so that they can be segregated before being sent to separate recycling streams. The new product allows the towel roll and plug to be disposed of together in paper recycling streams. 

“I am proud that we are designing innovative products with circularity in mind and taking this step to eliminate unnecessary plastic in our hand towel range with this game-changing solution,” says Olena Neznal, Vice President of Kimberly-Clark Professional in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “In doing so, we are reducing plastic waste, helping our customers improve their recycling rates, and saving cleaning professionals’ time.”

Despite its initial launch only in the EMEA region, the company says it will be evaluating its expansion into other markets to support its global 2030 sustainability goals and those of corporate and institutional clients. 


Kimberly-Clark set a goal to reduce its plastic footprint by 50 per cent by 2030 by using less virgin, fossil-fuel-based plastic and more recycled, renewable, or degradable materials whilst finding ways to support the transition to a circular economy. This contributes to the company’s global ambition to improve the lives of 1 billion people in underserved communities around the globe by 2030 with the smallest environmental footprint.

Aligned with this strategy, the company is committed to helping customers achieve their environmental aspirations by elevating workplaces with the highest sustainability standards. According to an Ipos – Kimberly-Clark eHRT B2B survey undertaken in March 2021, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK businesses, for example, say reducing the environmental impact of their hygiene products guides their decision-making – a factor of great significance in the future¹.


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Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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