The environmental concerns of a large number of consumers are driving packaging innovations for many FMCG products nowadays. Manufacturers introduce eco-friendly concepts not only to please the public but also to build a more socially responsible reputation that strengthens the brand credibility and increases further sales.

It is not always easy to develop something new that could be cost-effective at the same time, especially for such a basic category as toilet tissue. However, the French manufacturer Essity managed to introduce some clever ideas on that ground.

Lotus Moltonel three-ply toilet tissue comes as a pack of four double-length rolls claimed to be equivalent to eight standard rolls. It is wrapped in printed low-density polyethylene film with heat-sealed ends and comes with a film band to one side to serve as a carry handle.

This looks rather like a typical toilet tissue pack. However, the manufacturer also decided to remove the inner core of each tissue roll, which is emphasised on the pack, creating a strong point of difference and positioning the product as pro-environment.

Removal of the inner core results in improved sustainability – there is no waste for the consumer to dispose of when a roll is finished – but also in material cost reductions for the brand owner. Pack graphics clearly communicate the core-less format. In addition, the double-length rolls need to be changed less often by the consumer for added convenience.

Lotus Moltonel has previously launched toilet paper with a flushable inner core (made from the same material as the toilet tissue), so innovations of this type are not novel for the brand. Nevertheless, taking into account the conditions of a very price-competitive sector, every little helps.

The concept is not entirely hassle-free for the user – the irregular shape of the roll centre causes the roll to ‘jump’ a little on a toilet roll holder when unrolling, and the final few sheets of paper tend to “stick” together a little – but this is just a slight inconvenience that is unlikely to be perceived as a problem in the light of clear environmental benefits this product brings.

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