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The RightCycle™ Programme offers a hassle-free closed-loop recycling service for hand towels

Harrods reduces waste footprint with new hand towel recycling service

Kimberly-Clark Professional’s RightCycle™ Programme meets sustainability goals

Harrods, the world’s leading luxury department store, has ambitious plans to create a more sustainable future. Harrods Path to a Sustainable Future sustainability initiative details its plan to “operate as efficiently as we can, as soon as we can, with year-on-year reductions in our carbon footprint, responsible water and waste management, and improvements across packaging.”

To meet high sustainability targets, the famous retailer has teamed up with Kimberly-Clark Professional’s new RightCycle™ Programme to recycle their used hand towels. Together with distributer partner Banner and recycling partner First Mile, the new programme is expected to reduce Harrod’s waste footprint by 2.8 per cent and improved recycling rates by 1 per cent since implementing the programme in October 2021.

“We’re on a path to a sustainable future, and as part of that, we have some key focus areas for this year. We’re looking at our path to net zero and we’re looking to reduce our waste and increase our recycling rates,” explains Rebecca Morgan, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Harrods.

“We’re taking hand towels from the customer restrooms here in store, and we’re recycling them into new paper products. Our facilities management team identified the opportunity to recycle our hand towels and we are partnering with Kimberly-Clark Professional™ and Banner to implement this process and make it as simplistic as possible.”

Hassle-free closed-loop recycling service for hand towels

According to Kimberly-Clark Professional™, currently, the majority of used hand towels in the UK are just thrown away, but now the RightCycle™ Programme offers a more responsible solution. The programme is an innovative closed loop service that transforms used hand towels into new Kimberly-Clark Professional™ paper products, with no upfront investment or additional labour.

“Recycling used hand towels is as easy as throwing them away. Used hand towels are kept separate from general waste at point of use, collected by our recycling partner who take them to an aggregation site for compression and baling. The bales are then transported to mills where the fibres are recycled and used in the manufacture of new tissue products – giving hand towels a second life.” says James Hallam – Global Circularity Manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional™.

“We know 84 per cent of customers now have sustainability goals in place. And two of the most common are a reduction in waste footprint, and increasing recycling rates. Taking up the hand towel recycling service, the RightCycle™ program, can help a customer reduce their waste footprint by up to 25 per cent, and also increase their recycling rate by up to 5 per cent.1 “The service reduces your waste footprint, supports your sustainability goals and helps develop the circular economy today and for the future.”

More absorbent product reduces usage

With the introduction of the RightCycle™ Programme, Harrod’s has opted for more absorbent hand towels in its customer washrooms. Their new Scott® hand towels are made with Airflex™ Technology resulting in higher absorbency because the towels are made with a more open structure than conventional towels meaning less towels are required. The partnership enabled Harrods to make this upgrade with no extra cost.

“We didn’t want to come to Harrods with an increase in costs, so we worked together with our partner Kimberly-Clark Professional™ to deliver a better hand towel at no extra cost,” adds Michael Twelves, Corporate Account Manager, Banner. “Harrods product usage has decreased because they are now using a more absorbent hand towel with no impact to the purchase price of the product – it really is a win win.”

A more sustainable washroom

Since its ground-breaking launch over 10 years ago, the innovative RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional™ has diverted over 1,500 tonnes of previously hard-to-recycle non-hazardous PPE from landfill and incineration. This latest extension of The RightCycle™ Programme gives businesses the opportunity to transform the way they dispose of old dispensers and used hand towels for a more sustainable washroom.

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK businesses say reducing the environmental impact of their hygiene products already guides their decision-making – a factor set to take on even more significance in the future.2

The world’s first dispenser installation and recycling system

In a world’s first, Kimberly-Clark Professional also offers The RightCycle™ Programme as both a dispenser installation and recycling service. It is a simple process where Kimberly-Clark Professional™ expert fitters remove, collect and collate an organisation’s old dispensers – no matter who the manufacturer is – and install new, hygienic and sustainable dispensers.

Working with recycling partners, the dispenser components including the plastic, cardboard and metal screws are transformed into new raw materials for use in new products such as car parts and children’s toys – breathing new life into old dispensers and diverting waste from landfill.

“We work with our customers to divert waste from landfill or incineration, The RightCycle™ Programme is designed to support organisations’ sustainability goals and help position them as a company committed to sustainability and their path towards zero waste,” adds James Hallam.

“Placing your used hand towels into general waste may mean that they end up in landfill or incinerators. With the RightCycle™ Program, it really is as easy as throwing your hand towels or dispensers away, but it’s a more responsible option for everyone, including the planet,” adds James Hallam. “Through a partnership with our customers, distributors and recycling organisations, we are providing businesses with a hassle-free way to be more sustainable and improve their washroom and wiping facilities.”

Customers can display their green credentials with a Certificate of Environmental Impact Achievement detailing the difference they have made (such as plastic weight diverted from landfill or total fibre recycled) this increases employee satisfaction knowing that they work for a company that cares.”

The RightCycle™ Programme is the world’s first service to offer both dispenser installation and recycling

To be eligible for the RightCycle™ Programme for hand towels any UK organisation must be using – or happy to switch to – Kimberly-Clark Professional™ hand towels. The RightCycle™ Programme for dispensers is open to UK organisations with more than 100 customer-owned dispensers of any category.

To find out more, contact Kimberly-Clark Professional™ at The RightCycle™ Programme website for a free no obligation site assessment.


1. Based on UK office per person average kg waste

2. Ipos – Kimberly-Clark eHRT B2B – March 2021

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