By Fredrica Syren:
On the horizon are new paper and tissue that will be environmentally friendly as well as create a new market for farmers. Made by Kimberly-Clark Professional, the paper towels and tissues are called the Green Harvest line. They will include 20 percent wheat straw in hopes of lowering the demand for tree fibers. The idea is that the new paper line will help conserve natural resources. (They already use recycled paper.) Kimberly-Clark thinks this will help competitors follow suit and start to produce more eco-friendly products as well.
Wheat straw, an agricultural byproduct of harvesting wheat grains from the fibrous plant, traditionally has been treated like waste. Mostly, the straw stays in the field and then is burned. It has great potential to be manufactured into alternative tree-based products. Wheat straw already is being used in copy paper, and soon it will be manufactured into corrugated paper and packing materials.
By using wheat straw in a new way (like paper towels, toilet paper and tissue), it will create a new market for farmers to sell what is otherwise considered a waste product to companies, making it more valued.
So far, the Green Harvest line will NOT be sold in retail stores; instead, it will be used by commercial customers like sports venues and educational institutions. However, the Kimberly-Clark Professional marketing team is keeping a close eye on the line to see how it’s doing.