Thinking Differently About Waste
Kimberly-Clark is committed to taking responsibility for its products
throughout their lifecycles, and in 2011, we continued to pioneer solutions to
capture waste after our products are used by our customers and consumers.
Kimberly-Clark continues to expand its diaper composting initiatives. In 2010, Kimberly-Clark’s
Huggies brand team partnered with Envirocomp Ltd. to offer a first-of-its-kind
composting service in Christchurch, New Zealand. To respond to the enthusiastic
uptake by families and commercial businesses, including preschools and senior care
facilities, Envirocomp is on track to open a second Kimberly-Clark–sponsored recycling
plant in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, in May 2012. In 2011, Kimberly-Clark
announced that its partnership with Envirocomp is going global. Envirocomp secured
the global rights for first refusal to collect and compost Kimberly-Clark diapers
and is exploring locations for additional international plants.
In 2011, our Kimberly-Clark Professional business joined forces with TerraCycle,
a leading "upcycling" company, to launch a U.S.-wide program for the collection
and recycling of clean room protective apparel at pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
Through the collaboration, Kimberly-Clark Professional has positioned itself among
the first to implement large-scale recycling programs for nontraditional waste streams
in North America. TerraCycle collects, converts and resells waste material as either
bulk plastics or eco-friendly consumer products. Kimberly-Clark’s bar code system
allows us to track waste reduction by facility. The recycling program further extends
our sustainability initiatives by saving time, material and money.
Our Huggies brand also collaborates with TerraCycle to collect and upcycle diaper
packaging through its Huggies Brand Brigade program in the U.S. The Huggies brand
sponsors the installation of TerraCycle collection bins in schools and other community
locations. The bins receive a variety of packaging, including that of Huggies brand
diapers, whose boxes and plastic wraps are labeled to alert consumers to this recycling
option. The program was introduced in 2010 but saw a significant increase in participation
in 2011, with more than 6,500 packages collected compared with about 1,700 packages
In Costa Rica, Kimberly-Clark Professional worked with our larger customers to pilot
a collection and recycling program for waste paper towels, which provide an excellent
fiber stream for new towels. This is a win-win strategy because the customer does
not have to pay for the disposal of those fibers, and Kimberly-Clark can purchase
this raw material at a lower cost for use in its production process.
In Australia, Kimberly-Clark Health Care offers a new recycling program to collect,
recycle and recover Kimguard brand Sterile Wrap and One-Step brand Sterile Wrap
from Australian hospitals. A joint initiative with SITA-MediCollect, a specialized
clinical waste business, the program offers a one-stop solution for the collection,
transportation and reprocessing of the wrap in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Our Global Nonwoven division served on the board of the Health Care Plastics Recycling
Council and supported the creation of guidelines for the development of recyclable