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The roll-less toilet paper roll. Best invention ever?

tubex.jpg

A few friends passed this story my way and I chuckled a bit. Did any really care about toilet paper? But then, the tips started coming in fast and furious. Finally, the straw that broke me:

A friend I admire for his gravitas wrote, "Ok, I think this is one of the most interesting innovations in human history. Imagine no cardboard roll left at the end."

The toilet paper roll has lost its roll, and people are really excited about it.

tube-less toilet paper?! this is blowing my mind right now! http://bit.ly/90cdZUless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Kimberly-Clark plans to introduce a line of tube-free Scott toilet paper in the Northeast on Nov. 1 as part of its Naturals line.

The cardboard tube has been a staple of the toilet paper industry, but it serves no real consumer purpose. It was inserted to aid production efficiency and maintain stability during shipment. But Kimberly-Clark has created a new technology to wrap the tissue without the tube.

The innovation could eliminate millions of pounds of cardboard material, much of which is not recycled by customers.

Alyson Gomez, a spokeswoman for Kimberly-Clark, said toilet paper tubes account for 160 million pounds of waste in the U.S. every year. "End to end it can take you to the moon and back twice."

Gomez said the idea has been in the works for many years. "It is an easy green step that consumers can take at home. It works in the exact same way that the typical tube does. The roll still fits on the spindle. You won't need to buy new bathroom fixtures. ... A lot more waste will be saved."

She thinks people are so excited about the innovation because "people don't talk about bath tissue. It doesn't make everyday conversation. It's also kind of funny."

She did not know, however, what this means for the future of gerbil homes and incredible toilet paper roll art (no, really, it is incredible, look).

(Thank you, Jura!)

By Melissa Bell  | October 29, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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