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K-CP's new GreenHarvest products are made from rapidly renewable plant fibre
Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched GreenHarvest products, a cutting edge offering that incorporates rapidly renewable plant-based fibre, such as wheat straw and bamboo, into Kleenex and Scott brand towel and tissue products.
The manufacturer say it is the first major towel and tissue manufacturer in North America to introduce products made with 20% plant fibre in place of tree fibre or recycled fibre, and that the move required the development of an entirely new supply chain to directly obtain wheat straw from US farmers and the creation of a first-of-its-kind manufacturing process for converting plant fibre into pulp.
"In a resource-constrained, digital world, with fewer sources of recycled fibre, and the need to put less pressure on natural forests, it's important to continue exploring non-tree fibres," says Iris V. Schumacher, the company's North American sustainability leader. "With the GreenHarvest line, Kimberly-Clark is pioneering a new approach to sustainable fibre sourcing and delivering innovative products with the quality and performance customers expect from our trusted brands."
GreenHarvest offerings include Kleenex hard roll towel and Kleenex Cottonelle coreless standard roll bathroom tissue made with 20% bamboo fibre, and Scott multi-fold towels, standard roll bathroom tissue, coreless JRT Jr. bathroom tissue and coreless standard roll bathroom tissue made with 20% wheat straw fibre.
These products, along with Kimberly-Clark Professional Forest Stewardship Council Certified and EcoLogo certified products, can help facilities earn points toward Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) STARS programme.
Bamboo and wheat straw meet the US Green Building Council's definition of rapidly renewable materials because they can regenerate in less than 10 years. These fibres have shorter harvesting cycles, which reduces the amount of land needed to support demand and takes advantage of abundant plant sources.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, and some species can grow at rates of more than three feet per day. Wheat straw is the residue that remains after wheat is harvested. Over 45 million tons of this agricultural byproduct is generated in the US every year, with relatively few beneficial uses. Incorporating these fibre 'leftovers' into towel and tissue products helps reduce farmland waste and provides additional income to farmers, by enhancing the value of their crops.
Says Aaron Harries, vice president of research & operations, Kansas Wheat Commission: "By creating a new, beneficial use for wheat straw, Kimberly-Clark Professional is providing an economic boost for farmers, adding value to our state's largest crop and helping us reduce agricultural waste.
"It's a win-win-win solution for farmers, the economy and the environment."
30th April 2015