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Paper Product Innovations: Focus On the Environment

Written by  Lisa Kopochinski

a treeWith green cleaning here to stay, jan/san industry manufacturers continue to strive to create products with environmental considerations in mind as end users demand more.

For 2010, there are a number of new paper products on the market for building service contractors, which have hygiene and the environment at the top of the list. Three companies at the forefront of the green cleaning movement are Cascades Tissue Group, Georgia-Pacific, and Wausau Paper.

Cascades’ newest innovation for the industry is its Tandem high-capacity bath tissue system, which offers either a two-roll system or a four-roll carousel system. Made of 100-percent recycled fiber and a minimum of 80-percent post-consumer content, Isabelle Faivre, marketing director for USA Cascades Tissue Group USA, says, “Many coreless systems tout complete paper usage, but our market research shows that the end user has waste in that the stub falls out of the dispenser and is often found lying on the floor. Our innovative design offers a system with complete utilization of the primary roll and keeps the second roll completely covered until the first roll is consumed.”

The Tandem towel and tissue systems offer the end user a cost-saving option that minimizes labor, maximizes sanitation, and is a welcome complement to any décor.

A company that considers the preservation of the environment a corporate initiative and commitment, Faivre says that sustainability is more than a line of products made with 100-percent recycled fiber.

“We have always been one of the greenest paper companies in North America and will continue to raise the bar for our facilities to go beyond the requirements of the third-party certification systems,” she explains.

“Many manufacturers have recognized, as of late, the customer desires and requirements to offer a sustainable towel and tissue system. Manufacturers that have, in the past, sold against the grain and offered hype are now listing some of their products with the third-party certification organizations such as Green Seal and EcoLogo. Even while these manufacturers are certifying part of their line as “green,” they are being accused by other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for raping our forests and continually receive fines and violations from the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Georgia-Pacific is another company that takes the environment seriously in its manufacturing of products. Since the 1930s, it has pioneered systems that reduce waste. The company produces 200 away-from-home products containing 95- to 100-percent recycled fiber and 40 products that help companies earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. It also works closely with its affiliated recycling company, Harmon Associates, which facilitates the brokerage of six million tons of recovered paper each year.

In 2007, Georgia-Pacific Professional began labeling the environmental benefits of its products using the Green by Design designation. Green by Design-marked products follow the EPA’s 3 R program of reduce, reuse and recycle. Georgia-Pacific Professional labels the packaging for its Green by Design-qualified products with seals that designate which of the 3 Rs the product satisfies and how the particular product satisfies the relevant environmental criteria.

As part of the company’s goal to create products that are cost-effective and increase both hygiene and environmental awareness among consumers, it has introduced the enMotion® with Lotion towels, an innovative hand-drying solution that is the only moisture-activated lotion towel in the away-from- home market.

“Georgia-Pacific Professional recognized the skin problems healthcare employees endure from frequent hand washing, and it used this feedback to develop solutions to address this common issue,” says Craig Yardley, vice president and general manager—towel category. “We are hopeful that enMotion® with Lotion towels will be a key pillar as we work to promote better hand-hygiene compliance and improve the experience of healthcare professionals.”

enMotion® with Lotion towels were designed with softness in mind to help protect hands from the signs of dryness, cracking and scaling that accompany frequent hand washing. Release of the lotion applied to the towels is enhanced when in contact with water.

Meanwhile, Wausau Paper recently announced the introduction of Dubl- Nature® and EcoSoft™ Green Seal™ 1,000-foot hard wound roll towels.

“These exciting new products are the first Green Seal™ certified extended-length roll towels on the market and illustrate Wausau Paper’s continued commitment to providing high-quality products with a sustainable market advantage,” says Mark Stanland, vice president of marketing for Wausau Paper Towel and Tissue.

Ideal for schools, universities, stadiums, office buildings, public facilities and other high-traffic areas, these attractive roll towels offer greater capacity for reduced maintenance time and costs. Designed for use in Wausau Paper controlled-use dispensing systems, the Dubl-Nature® and EcoSoft™ Green Seal™ 1,000-foot hard wound roll towels provide excellent customer value and are made from 100-percent recycled fiber and meet or exceed the U.S. EPA guidelines for post-consumer waste content.

In addition, they are made with de-inking and bleaching processes that are free of chlorine and other harmful chemicals, and utilize environmentally preferable packaging.

“Offering choices with two brands and two paper grades, along with Green Seal™ certification, these products help building service contractors that have mandates to be green,” explains Stanland. “The extended capacity of these roll towels combined with our controlled-use dispensing systems will reduce maintenance time and costs.”

The Future of Green

With cleaning such an essential activity to create healthy indoor environments, Stanland says that, “Today, the development of new paper products and dispensing systems has resulted in green products that perform as well, if not better than their traditional counterparts.”

As we enter 2010, Cascades’ Faivre emphasizes the company’s mission to continue with sustainable innovations. This applies to not just the final product, but also in the way it manufactures products and the resources used.

“We want to keep minimizing our environmental footprint,” she says. “Our children are growing up and seeing the impact that we have had on the world and are demanding changes for their future and the future of their children. It is all about responsibility. We can use a tree to manufacture bath tissue and then flush it down the toilet, or we can use that same tree to make a sheet of printing paper, bring it back, and then make it into toilet tissue.”


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