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Discarded cardboard keeps piling up, so Tesco is turning boxes into rolls of toilet paper

UK supermarket Tesco just introduced a new line of own-brand toilet paper and kitchen towels. Responsibly made not of virgin pulp, but not of run-of-the-paper mill recycled paper, either. Instead, Tesco's German supplier WEPA designed a novel process to manufacture toilet paper and kitchen towels specifically from recycled cardboard.

The eco-friendly line repurposes discarded cardboard from home deliveries and supermarket supplies. These are processed into a pulp that's cleaned and refined to create fibers suitable for turning into truly soft and absorbent products. Launching in 100 Tesco Extra stores in February 2024, the range includes '100% Recycled Brown Kitchen Towel' and 'Luxury Soft 100% Recycled Brown Toilet Tissue Roll' in various pack sizes.

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Unlike that last roll in the bathroom, innovation is endless β€” even for humble products like toilet paper and kitchen towels. Collaborating with suppliers as they develop ever more advanced manufacturing technologies, brands like Tesco can introduce high-performance products made with less energy and fewer resources.

Featured on the packaging of Tesco's new line are pictograms of boxes transformed into rolls of toilet paper and kitchen towels. By highlighting process and provenance, the supermarket might prompt consumers to reflect on the importance of recycling and on the cardboard waste generated every time they hit 'buy now' and goods are conveniently home-delivered.

Other brands: next time you launch a new product or redesign packaging, could you inject a dose of consumer awareness? How could you help people become more mindful of their consumption and disposal habits?

Innovation of the day