Tissue giant Kimberly-Clark (K-C) has teamed up with biotechnology company Booshoot to support the production of tissue products made with bamboo fibre.
K-C said the partnership “marks a significant breakthrough” for the tissue industry and the planet, and means it can now explore the manufacture of tissue products that contain fibre derived from Booshoot’s proprietary bamboo propagation technology.
The companies will work together to develop high-yield fibre alternatives that can be grown domestically on a mass agricultural scale in environmentally and socially responsible ways.
Under the agreement, Booshoot will deliver tens of thousands of bamboo starts to be grown in K-C pilot projects. The trials are designed to prove the viability of several species of giant bamboos, including ‘Moso’ (Phyllostachys edulis), as sustainable tree fibre alternatives.
Moso grows close to 100 feet tall and is harvestable in less than a decade, producing several times the fibre of traditional timber, and capturing four times the carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) of most trees.
Booshoot chief executive Jackie Heinricher said: “Booshoot has the proven science and production capacity required to eventually produce millions of bamboo plants annually, which will play a critical part in reducing the world’s dependence on native forests.”
Gordon Knapp, president of North American Consumer Tissue for K-C, said: “Introducing alternatives to natural forest fibre to our supply chain is important to our goals associated with responsible fibre sourcing as well as our goals to improve management of input cost risk and variability.”
Booshoot is a biotechnology company that is focused on bamboo forestry, agriculture and nursery wholesale.