Imagine filling the Empire State Building with used toilet roll tubes. Then fill it again. Every year, globally, we throw away 17 billion toilet roll tubes — enough to fill the Empire State Building twice. It’s a scale of waste that consumers find hard to imagine, so Kimberly-Clark's SCOTT® Brand has tried to give them a hand by unveiling a replica of the Empire State Building — a dramatic art structure in New York’s Flatiron Plaza.
The 30-foot structure was built to celebrate the national release of Scott Naturals® Tube-Free bath tissue.
The tube-free rolls have been available in limited northeastern markets since 2010, but has recently been launched nationally — the tissue can now be found in Walmart stores and select retail outlets nationwide.
"Kimberly-Clark is thrilled to be able to release Scott Naturals Tube-Free bath tissue nationally, providing consumers across the country with a product that contributes to a better, cleaner world, without sacrificing quality," Jared Mackrory, brand manager for Scott Brand, told Digital Journal. "Imagining the environmental impact of 17 billion tubes — enough to fill the Empire State Building twice — is hard to do. That's why we brought the concept to life by creating a 30-foot replica in the middle of Manhattan."
Scott Brand has also teamed up with Carter Oosterhouse, the home and design expert and host of the new show “Rowhouse Showdown,” to offer tips to consumers on how they can reduce their environmental impact.
"I was interested in green living from a young age and now when I'm building, I aim to do the most with the least environmental impact,” said Oosterhouse. “I'm very passionate about the work the Scott Brand is doing and I look forward to sharing my tips and this product with the public.”
To increase its scope and lifespan, a smaller replica of the structure has been donated to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM), with members of the museum’s Junior Staff internship program participating in the structure’s design and creation.
"A main mission area of The Children's Museum of Manhattan is to provide leadership in the areas of healthy living and a healthy environment," said Tom Quaranta, Director of Exhibitions and Museum Operations. "In addition to conveying an important environmental message to families, this sculpture will add an authentic New York flavor to the Museum, truly representative of the distinctive spirit of NYC. We are excited to bring this iconic sculpture to CMOM which will help educate children and families about the small changes they can make in their lives to help eliminate waste."
The replica structures are just one component of Scott’s campaign around the release of its tube-free tissue — an ad released in mid-July illustrates the scale of the 17 billion tubes discarded each year, and a social media aspect of the campaign is encouraging consumers to take an online pledge to “toss the tube,” and spread the word using the hashtag #TosstheTube. Participants are rewarded with a progressive coupon, the value of which increases with the number of pledges.
In other Kimberly-Clark news, the world's largest tissue manufacturer was commended in February by Canadian forest-conservation NGO Canopy, on the release of a cutting-edge study of the existing and potential raw materials for its products. The comprehensive lifecycle analysis included eight key environmental indicators, such as land occupation, human toxicity, climate change and water depletion, and concluded that Kimberly-Clark’s use of recycled paper, along with alternatives such as bamboo and wheat straw waste, had reduced environmental impacts when compared with traditional use of forest fiber.
It’s hoped that the launch of products that limit the use of packaging could encourage consumers to demand it from a wider range of companies. Waste-management practices consume an alarming amount of taxpayers’ money. In July, a report by UPSTREAM revealed that paper and packaging waste cost New York taxpayers US$600 million per year.
“When taxpayers pay, there’s no incentive to reduce or redesign packaging,” said Bill Sheehan, UPSTREAM’s executive director and lead author of the report. “When companies make recycling just another part of doing business, like R&D or marketing, we see big savings for cities and increased recycling and business opportunities across the board.”