Home > Paper selection > Paper Types > Tissue Overview > Away From Home

Away From Home Tissue Markets

About one-third of the tissue market represents use "Away From Home," in commercial and industrial settings such as office and government buildings, hotels, schools, airports, amusement parks, hospitals, highway rest stops - anywhere restroom and kitchen facilities are not in a private home.

Most Away From Home (AfH) tissue products are bought by building owners, institutions and janitorial services directly from distributors (including some of the same ones that distribute printing and writing papers). The products are usually bulk-packaged and often tied to marketing specialized dispensers that encourage brand loyalty. (For a discussion of dispensers that encourage source reduction, see the Special Report on Paper Towels.) Competition usually revolves around price, compatibility with dispensers, and ease of replenishment.

Increasingly, government agencies, university campuses, school systems and hospitals, among others, are specifying recycled content tissue and towels. In fact, the U.S. federal government requires that any tissue products bought with its funds, either by its agencies or by contractors, grantees or any other federally-funded purchasers, follow EPA guidelines and buy paper products with at least the following minimum recovered fiber/postconsumer contents. (Since many tissue products are available with considerably higher recycled contents, purchasers should use these only as specification floors.)


EPA Minimum Content Guidelines for Tissue Products
Recovered Fiber
Postconsumer Fiber
Bath Tissue


Away From Home tissue products meet this growing environmental market by including at least some (often high) recycled content in more than 70% of its tissue options. In fact, most of the mills that make Away From Home tissue products are capable of using recycled fiber.

Recycled content is a priority for environmentally preferable Away From Home tissue products, but reducing use is even better for the environment. The commercial sector offers a number of options for source reduction. See the Special Report for a further discussion of the commercial paper towel market and source reduction opportunities. Environmental researchers are investigating virgin forest fiber sources for tissue products and expect to have that information available soon.

Major Away From Home tissue product manufacturers include Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark, SCA, Wausau Mosinee, Marcal, Cascades, and Atlantic Packaging. There are also a number of converters, called "rewinders," who buy large tissue paper reels from manufacturers and convert them to finished products that may be sold as private label brands.


Top U.S. Away From Home Tissue Producers
Rank Company Market Share
1 Georgia-Pacific
2 Kimberly-Clark
3 Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolget (SCA)
Source: Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., from Paperloop, 2/10/04


Smaller-quantity purchasers and individual consumers are gaining increasing access to many of these products through warehouse club stores and office supply superstores.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]