Toilet Paper Companies Going Tubeless: Here’s Why it’s Important

Recently one of the country’s most popular paper goods suppliers, Scott, did away with the cardboard inner tube inside of its toilet paper rolls and is now goingtubeless. Here’s why that’s good news for the environment.

Each year over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are thrown away, and most end up in landfills.To put that in perspective, this amount of waste is enough to fill the Empire State Building…twice! And did you know that in New York City alone, 14,000 toilet paper inner tubes are thrown away every 15 minutes? In fact, just the tubes from toilet paper rolls account for millions of pounds of waste each year.

Since first putting out toilet paper in the 1890s, then under the name Scott Paper Company, the Scott brand has become the top supplier. Therefore, the company’s move to go tubeless carries even moreenvironmental significance because it sets a precedent.What if every toilet paper manufacturerditched the inner tube? Imagining the benefits of that is exciting for all of us environmental activists out there.

What if we were to expand on this strategy beyond just toilet paper? Many other products contain a wasteful component that can be eliminated in order to help save our planet. What if paper towel companies did this as well? Each year billions of paper towel tubes end upbiodegrading in landfills, but they don’t need to be there.

If the average American uses about 741 pounds of paper per year, with 55 pounds of that being from toilet and towel paper, going cardboard tubelesscould mean a huge waste-reduction and could help chip away at the spread of trash dumps across the country and world. If both the toilet paper and paper towel inner rolls were dispensed with, this could equate to eliminating a significant portion of the 55 pounds of waste, per person, per year, that we generate in just this one country alone.

The United States has an average of 319 million people in its population. While the paper waste does not seem like a prodigious figure for one individual per year, when you multiply that by almost half-a-billion people, that is a colossal amount of waste just from thesetwo products alone. When you look at it like this, taking away the tube seems like a no-brainer. It is not a perfect solution to all of our environmental waste problems, but it is certainly a start.

While we’re waiting for these companies to get their acts together, here’s what you can do: Most toilet paper and paper towel tubes can be recycled – and they are among the top tenitems that we really do need to recycle. These cardboard tubes can be recycled with other paper products, making itsimple and easy. You can fold them in half, or even cut them to make them flatterif you’re short on space. Cardboard tubes are also a handy item to have around the house; they can bereused and re-purposed in many beneficial ways. Some nifty ideas include saving them forcrafts, using them in gardening, or even using them to makenatural air fresheners, amongmany other creative uses.

We want to know: What other suggestions do you have for recycling your cardboard rolls?

Photo Credit: ThinkStock.

153 comments

Crystal G.
Crystal G2 years ago

What is the big deal? Can't you just recycle them?

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Kasey K.
Kasey K2 years ago

Does anyone know where you are supposed to be able to find the Scott tubeless rolls? I would buy them, but they are not in any of the stores near where I live, even in the big box stores like Walmart and Target.

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Jane R.
Jane R2 years ago

I always recycle the tubes. I don't see how you could place one on a roller without the tube. There would be no inner circle.

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Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago

i like to make bons bons for xmas out of them

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Kyle Ness
Kyle Ness2 years ago

I always recycle the tubes.

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Elizabeth Z.
Elizabeth Z2 years ago

This a great idea even though my rescued rabbits enjoy playing with them :)

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

I always recycle the tubes from tp and paper towels! I prefer having the tubes, the rolls seem to hold together better.

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Nancy W.
Nancy W.2 years ago

It's great to see others going tubeless!

Our family has been using tube-free toilet paper for a few years now. Recently, I discovered unitgenius.com, which tells me exactly where I can find the best deal on tube-free TP online, whether it's amazon, walmart, target, or costco:

https://www.unitgenius.com/search/?q=tube-free-1-ply-toilet-paper

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

I have often wondered why there was a need to use the cardboard roll. That would be a great savings if they would do away with it.

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Gerald L.
Gerald L2 years ago

As Conned-sumers we have to start counting sheets per roll, today while in a Big Box Store, their weekly promotion was 24 rolls, 2 Ply with only 140 sheets per roll.

The waste for transporting this at least 900 miles is the tragedy. Start buying 2X with as many Sheets Per Roll as possible. In a motel they had rolls with 550 sheets, this makes for lots of s____.

And saves lots of wasted transport trips carting minimal fluff. Complain to your retailers. Find out who the motels buy from.

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