GreenHarvest products from Kimberly-Clark Professional incorporate rapidly renewable plant-based fiber, such as wheat straw and bamboo, into the company’s Kleenex and Scott brand towel and tissue products. Manufactured with 20% plant fiber in place of tree fiber or recycled fiber, GreenHarvest offerings include Kleenex hard roll towel and Kleenex Cottonelle coreless standard roll bathroom tissue made with 20% bamboo fiber, and Scott multi-fold towels, standard roll bathroom tissue, coreless JRT Jr. bathroom tissue, and coreless standard roll bathroom tissue made with 20% wheat straw fiber.
The new products can help towards earning points when pursuing LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as well as the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) STARS program, a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure sustainability performance.
Bamboo and wheat straw meet the USGBC definition of rapidly renewable materials because these can regenerate in less than 10 years. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world; some species can grow at rates of more than three feet per day. Wheat straw is the residue that remains after wheat is harvested. Over 45 million tons of this agricultural byproduct is generated in the U.S. every year. Incorporating these fiber “leftover” into GreenHarvest products helps reduce farmland waste and provides additional income to farmers. Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations at the Kansas Wheat Commission, said, “By creating a new, beneficial use for wheat straw, Kimberly-Clark Professional is providing an economic boost for farmers, adding value to our state’s largest crop and helping us reduce agricultural waste.”
These products required the development of a new supply chain to obtain wheat straw directly from farmers and the creation of a manufacturing process for converting plant fiber into pulp.