Toilet paper has been on a roll for well over 100 years, but that may be about to come to an end. Kimberly-Clark Corp., which makes Scott products, recently announced that it has developed a tubeless toilet paper roll aimed at reducing waste — paper waste, that is:


According to Scott’s brand manager, “You just put it on the spindle like regular bath tissue, and when you get to that last sheet, it just rolls off. There’s no wasted cardboard tube left behind.” That is certainly good news to those of us who don’t want anything left behind….or right behind either, for that matter.

Although paper used specifically for this purpose dates back centuries, the first packaged t.p. in America was produced in 1857 in flat sheets, with the rolled and perforated advancement turning up about twenty years later. Previously, Americans commonly used corncobs and pages torn from newspapers, magazines and the Sears, Roebuck catalogue (AKA the Rears and Sorebutt catalogue). Then, in 1935, Northern Tissue came out with “splinter-free” t.p. (earlier production methods sometimes left splinters in the paper). Thankfully, I was born in 1936.

Unfortunately, this latest (2014) innovation apparently isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For one thing, it wobbles as it’s unwound, and for number two, tubeless won’t be as much fun for small kids, as it won’t fly off the roll as fast when they run with it — not to mention that there’s no tube left to play with when all is said and done.

Actually, there’s much more that could be said about this fascinating subject, but I gotta go.