Kimberly-Clark Professional (KCP) has introduced 100 percent bio-based and recyclable core plugs in its Scott and Kleenex hand towel ranges across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 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.

As with all of Kimberly-Clark Professional’s washroom and wiper products and services, this product innovation is designed to help cleaning professionals improve efficiency and recycling rates while simplifying the waste-management process. When replacing the hand-towel roll, cleaning professionals typically separate the card-based hand-towel roll from the plastic core plug for their different disposal or recycling streams. With this new plastic-free core plug, there is no need to spend time separating the waste into paper and plastic, as the towel roll and plug can 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 for 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.”

The manufacturer is launching this product innovation in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and will evaluate expansion into other markets as part of its global 2030 sustainability goals. The manufacturer has set a goal to reduce its plastic footprint by 50 percent by 2030 by using less virgin, fossil-fuel-based plastic and more recycled, renewable or degradable materials while finding ways to support the transition to a circular economy. This contributes to the company’s global ambition to improve the lives of one billion people in underserved communities around the globe by 2030 with the smallest environmental footprint.