Post Consumer Waste

The majority of Kimberly-Clark products are single-use, and our stakeholders have identified post-consumer waste as an important issue for Kimberly-Clark to tackle as we continue to expand into emerging markets. We are working on a number of recycling, upcycling and composting solutions, which we describe below. We understand the importance of applying life cycle thinking—from development to disposal—to our products and will provide updates on our progress on this front in future reports.

In 2013, our customers diverted more than 62 tons of used garments and gloves from the landfill through the program.


Case Study: K-C Professional (KCP) initiated a single-use-garment recycling program in 2011 through a partnership with TerraCycle. In 2013, our customers diverted more than 62 tons of used garments and gloves from the landfill through the program (124,329 lbs). 2013 also marked the piloting phase of a new program within KCP called RightCycle. This program builds on our experience with TerraCycle and expands our offering of recycling services for single-use-garments to more end users.

Case Study: Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand in New Zealand continued its partnership with Envirocomp in 2013, developing a voluntary product stewardship scheme to reduce sanitary hygiene waste to landfill. The program was the first by an individual consumer goods manufacturer to receive accreditation by the Hon Amy Adams, New Zealand's Minister for the Environment, under the Waste Minimization Act 2008. The service, which collects and composts used diapers, incontinence products and sanitary items, now reaches 24% New Zealanders serving around 10% households with babies in the Canterbury and Wellington regions and over 500 commercial customers Envirocomp is planning to introduce a third plant in Auckland and extend their existing coverage, so that more New Zealanders have access to the composting service.

Case Study: Kimberly-Clark Health Care has been working with hospitals to help them recycle Kimguard* Sterilization Wrap. In 2012, we launched a five-stage recycling engagement program called Blue ReNew. The program helps hospitals organize their wrap-recycling needs, including engagement of leadership and key stakeholders, identification of recycling partners, training of hospital operating room teams and measurement of program results. In 2012, 52 hospitals helped us divert an estimated 1.5 million pounds of sterile wrap from landfills. An estimated 3 million pounds were diverted from landfill by 114 customers recycling through Blue ReNew in 2013. An additional 236 hospitals are currently working with Kimberly-Clark Health Care to set up the program.

Case Study: Members of our Global Nonwovens business participate on the boards of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers and the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council, working with other industry leaders to increase the recycling of plastics-based products.

Information on our materials recycling efforts in our manufacturing operations is available in the Waste section of this report.


In 2014, Kimberly-Clark joined the How2Recycle Label Program. The goal of the program is to help consumers better understand what to do with North American packaging, and to encourage greater participation in recycling programs so that packaging gets a new life. The How2Recycle Label is an initiative of GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition. More information on the program can be found at Kimberly-Clark will initially add the label to their Scott Naturals Tube-Free bath tissue flexible film packages. In the future, Scott Naturals brand and other Kimberly-Clark consumer and professional brands will add the label to packaging where appropriate.

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