Sustainability in the Global Consumer Tissue Market

March 2022

Consumer lifestyles and purchase decisions are increasingly leaning towards more sustainable practices. With consumer and government pressures to reduce environmental impact, along with increasing costs of production, the industry embraces circular business models and eco-friendly manufacturing practices and products. Sustainable supply chain, reduction in non-recyclable plastic packaging, and alternative fibres are among the strategies adopted by the industry to respond to the changing demand.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

Sustainable claims in global consumer tissue are still underdeveloped but gaining traction

Alternative fibres and non-recycled plastic reduction in packaging are some of the strategies adopted by the industry in response to increase demand for more sustainable practices, However, “standard” products continue to represent the bulk of demand, often due to lower pricing. 

The retail segment in developing regions will be the principal drivers of long-term growth

The retail tissue market in developing markets will continue to present long-term growth opportunities due to still low per capita consumption, with sustainable attributes a viable strategy to meet increasing consumer and governmental pressures as well as often in response to rising production costs.

Environmental activism a platform for brand innovation and consumer engagement

Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their daily activities, with many adopting green practices such as reduction in the use of plastic and more consumers willing to pay for products with certain eco-friendly features, thus supporting brands that align with the shifting consumer perspective.

Alternative fibres and eco-friendly packaging as key strategies in consumer tissue to address sustainability

As industry seeks to respond to green activism and increasing legislative pressures, innovation focuses on more sustainable types of packaging and alternative fibres, both also opening up opportunities to generate incremental value among consumers willing to spend more on green features.

Key findings
Normalization of retail tissue trends and slow recovery for AFH products
Asia Pacific and MEA to see the stronger growth ahead in volumes
Inflation impacts discretionary income and consumer spending…
Industry professionals expect green trend to pick up post-pandemic, along with affordability
Climate changers: consumers are increasingly willing to act
Business with purpose trend to intensify post-pandemic
Leading sustainable claims in tissue: rise of more specific claims…
…and growing push against greenwashing: EU reviews sustainability claims
Uneven path of sustainability-related claims across tissue product categories
Costs remain the main barrier to sustainability despite higher awareness…
… but more consumers are willing to pay more…for tangible features
But how much is too much? The mark-up dilemma
The circular economy is key to make sustainability affordable
Tissue companies are investing in sustainable strategies
Circularity is strongly present in packaging preferences - opportunity for further innovation
Consumers have a very clear idea on what they see as sustainable packaging
Sustainable packaging from established powerhouses becomes more visible…
…but insurgents still drive multi-facet purposeful innovation and engagement
Private label is picking up pace: Tesco and affordable sustainable innovation
Cascades Tissue Group: continuing focus on circular business model
Grazie Natural: a case study in circular economy
Eyes on sustainable virgin wood pulp: eucalyptus claims growing space in tissue production
Bamboo remains an alternative fibre of choice for many eco-friendly brands
Kruger Products: expanding bamboo-based options in Canadian retail
Start-ups venture into bamboo tissue products in Latin America
Recycled fibre has a smaller environmental footprint, but is challenged on supply side
Essity explores wheat straw in Europe
Mapping the wheat production areas as a first step for a fiber-based plan
Strategic recommendations

Tissue and Hygiene

This is the aggregation of retail and away-from home tissue and disposable hygiene products as well as Rx/reimbursement adult incontinence.

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