A roll of toilet paper
A roll of toilet paper - 


KAI RYSSDAL: I wanted to take a minute to talk to y'all about, well, toilet paper. It's been the same for, oh, 100 years or so. But today the makers of Scott Tissue brought some change to the $9 billion dollar a year TP business. And in doing so, they say it's going to help save the planet.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Eve Troeh reports.

EVE TROEH: Scott's tube-free TP reinvents the roll, says brand manager Doug Daniels.

DOUG DANIELS: Kind of an A-ha moment.

The roll still has a hole, but he says eliminating the cardboard tube saves millions of tons of paper. And it lets consumers use all 440 sheets. Daniels says pricing tubeless paper the same as regular makes buyers more likely to "go green."

DANIELS: Consumers don't want to compromise to do something good for the environment, they're not there yet.

Environmental groups say the tubeless paper could be a lot greener. It doesn't use recycled paper, and it's wrapped in plastic.

Marketing consultant Maria Bailey says women buy most of the toilet paper in the U.S., and Scott's earth-friendliness is only part of the appeal.

MARIA BAILEY: An empty roll on a toilet paper hanger is just one of those little nemesis of a mom. So it's not only green, but it takes away one of those daily aggravations? It's gonna be very popular.

But, she says, no cardboard tube does pose some new problems -- like what to put in the hamster cage.

I'm Eve Troeh, for Marketplace.

See a slideshow that recounts the history of TP

Follow Eve Troeh at @evetroeh