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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is launching a new line in loo roll. The cardboard tube inside is having its diameter reduced from 123mm to 112mm, but the number of sheets on the roll will remain the same at 240 and both the cardboard and the paper are Forest Stewardship Council certified, meaning that they are coming from sustainably managed sources. The impact of the new slimline rolls is a big reduction in CO2 emissions, which is achieved by using less cardboard, less packaging and through reduced transportation costs. More of the slimline rolls will fit on a truck, so less HGV journeys will be needed to transport them.

It’s a brilliant idea and is the product of a lot of research.  Sainsbury’s had to find out how much they could reduce the diameter of the carboard tube without making the new skinny rolls too thin to fit on customers’ loo roll holders.  And that’s really important, because in the UK, we use a lot of loo roll – about 50 rolls a year each – making us among the most enthusiastic wipers in the world!

This simple change is going to reduce Sainsbury’s loo-roll related CO2 emissions by a massive 140,000kg per year.  Other loo roll manufacturers should take note and do some blatant copying of what is a simple, but highly effective idea for reducing our CO emissions.  Sainsbury’s manufacturers have had to make major modifications to their production machinery in order to make the new tubes and there is  a six week exclusivity period, during which Sainsbury’s will be the only skinny rolls available.  After that, I hope every other major brand will follow suit and put their loo rolls on diets!

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