Yesterday, Cascades Tissue Group
, North America’s fourth largest supplier of paper towels and toilet paper, unrolled (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Cascades Moka, the market’s first unbleached TP made from 100-percent recycled fibers. According to a press release
issued by the company, the product is made from 80 percent post-consumer recycled product and 20 percent recovered corrugated cardboard boxes. Additionally, the manufacturing of Moke is offset with 100 percent renewable wind energy
that saves 2,500 pounds of carbon emissions for each ton produced.
But let’s back up for a minute. Remember how I said Moka toilet paper is unbleached? Well, as you've probably gathered, that also means that it’s not white. Think brown. Okay, more of a tan-ish off-white.
Cascades is smartly avoiding referring to their revolutionary new loo roll as “brown.” Instead, they're promoting its more more pleasant “beige" characteristics.
Says Cascades Tissue Group CEO Suzanne Blanchett:
Beige is the new green, at least as it relates to towel and tissue. The last several years have brought about countless habit changes meant to preserve the environment. The quality of this bath tissue hasn’t been sacrificed one bit, so adjusting to a new color seems like a small step to take for even greater sustainability.
And then there’s this:
A detailed life cycle analysis of Moka undertaken by the company revealed a reduction in overall environmental impact by at least 25 percent when compared to Cascades’ 100 percent recycled fiber bathroom tissue, which has been regarded as a sustainable tissue exemplar in recent years but includes a chlorine-free whitening process for aesthetics.
This is all very good but many of us (“us” being notoriously picky-when-it-comes-to-TP Americans) have a hard enough time as is tending to our texture-sensitive undersides with white
recycled content toilet paper. Personally, I’m fine with it but on occasion I admittedly treat my bum to TP made from virgin fibers mainly because A. it’s generally cheaper and B. I don’t think Carmen, the lady who runs the bodega downstairs, is going to start carrying Seventh Generation
anytime soon. So how will consumers react to recycled toilet paper that’s not only made from recycled content but brown-ish in color as well?
The folks at Quebec-based Cascades Tissue Group are confident, partially based on positive response to Moka napkins, that Moka toilet paper will go over well. But I’m not entirely sure … tweaking the color of toilet paper, unless for novelty purposes, is a bold move in America. Some purists would even say a sacrilege. “White is hygiene and purity and it's clean,” Tony Morakis, senior director of sustainability for North American consumer products at Georgia-Pacific
recently told The Wall Street Journal
in an article about the whole “brown issue.” That said, as of now, Moka toilet paper will only be available on the commercial market. I’d be curious if it, and additional unbleached paper products, ever make over to the consumer market (I know Seventh Generation sells both bleached and unbleached paper towel rolls
). If it does, would you buy it?