18th March : Global Recycling Day – Tork PaperCircle® is the world’s first paper hand towel recycling service that enables companies to go circular

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle : Three essential words to raise awareness among the French to opt for more responsible consumption, to reduce waste as much as possible in order to preserve the environment and natural resources for a more circular society.

Tork, the world leading professional hygiene brand launches Tork PaperCircle®. This new service makes it possible to recycle used paper hand towels. By using Tork PaperCircle®, companies can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 40%* and reduce their total waste by up to 20%.** This solution is the first in France and now available and being implemented by different companies.

Every year, no less than 60,000 tons of paper towels*** are used in France. The Tork PaperCircle® solution was developed to reduce resource waste by putting used paper towels back into the manufacturing process to offer new paper products.

This innovative new model makes it possible to recover and revive used hand towels that become a new source of paper. The circle is thus closed and changes the perspective because the products are recycled, transformed to be reused.

How the Tork PaperCircle® service works:

  1. Visitors and employees use the sanitary facilities in the usual way, but throw the used paper hand towels in a dedicated, identified bin and separate from other waste.
  2. Cleaning staff empty these bins separately from other waste and store on their cart.
  3. Our waste collection partners recover these used paper hand towels and deliver them to our Essity factory in Hondouville.
  4. Our manufacturing facility recycles these used hand towels through a proprietary process into new paper products.
  5. The new paper products featuring the recovered fiber are then returned to the market, creating the cycle.

Our collecting partners recover used paper hand towels from companies and organizations then  transports them to the Essity factory in Hondouville, which manufactures paper hygiene products for professionals, from these collected paper and beverage cartons.

As Valéry Danjou, Director of the Essity plant in Hondouville, explains: “The Tork PaperCircle® initiative is fully in line with the expertise and know-how of the Essity factory in Hondouville, which is a leader in France in the recycling of paper fibers contained in documents, magazines, newspapers, beverage cartons and now used paper hand towels.

This industrial and circular innovation facilitates the optimal recovery of paper fibers and guarantees the quality of the new products produced.

“I am delighted to see that interest in Tork PaperCircle® continues to grow and that more and more companies are interested in joining us in this journey. I am proud that we are launching this service in France, which is an excellent opportunity for our partners/customers to reduce carbon emissions,” says Eric Kleinpeter, Sales Director at Essity Professional Hygiene.

At Essity, this innovation is already in place with several customer in France and will soon be implemented at the Group’s French headquarters in Saint-Ouen. Essity also offers this solution since 2017 and is active in other European markets (Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, Austria and Denmark).

“Tork PaperCircle is a great example of how we lead the way toward a circular society for professional hygiene. We see great potential in this service which is a complete solution to reduce waste and cut the carbon footprint. With this service we create sustainable value together with our customers and consumers”, says Magnus Groth, President and CEO, Essity.

This approach is fully in line with Tork’s strategy, whose ambition is to develop products and solutions for a more circular society. This requires new approaches and models of cooperation. In the long term, Tork wants to be part of a system without any waste.

*Results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by Essity Tork and verified by IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd, 2017.

**Based on data from pilot customers in Germany and the Netherlands.

*** Source Group’Hygiène