• Steven Heller

Asleep at the Roll

Mr. Whipple, please tell us if anyone was “design thinking” about the latest trend in “mega” rolls of toilet paper?


Although the copy on many packages say large rolls save on packaging and eliminate waste, didn’t anyone realize that the standard home dispenser or holder cannot accommodate the larger rolls? Perhaps the “design thinkers” were indisposed when this memo was sent around.


But is the claim that larger rolls are better for the environment accurate? Proctor and Gamble notes it has done careful “life cycle analyses” of its products, to see how they can become more sustainable. In 2007 when the larger packages were introduced, P&G predicted they would $20 billion of products that have a “reduced environmental impact,” which would, in turn, improve its “environmental profile.”


Sounds good – on paper. But just try to use the “mega” rolls. Since they don’t fit, more paper is torn off the roll until it is reduced to a proper fit. Charmin is trying to rectify the situation with its free “extenders,” but doesn’t that just add more packaging waste?


(We spy Stefan Sagmeister on his studio-cam. Can you find him?)



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