AF&PA Tissue Sector

Who We Are

The U.S. tissue manufacturing industry is nearly 28,000 employees strong. Together, these people work to bring useful and necessary products to people around the world, touching their lives every single day.

Tissue is a general term indicating a class of papers that are characteristically gauzy in texture and, in some cases, fairly transparent. Tissue products contribute to improved hygiene and convenience in our society, reducing the risks of communicable diseases. Made from fiber sourced from certified responsibly managed forests and/or recovered fiber, tissue products are sustainable.


  • Bathroom tissue (toilet paper);
  • Facial tissue (commonly known as 'tissue' — paper handkerchiefs);
  • Paper napkins;
  • Paper towels; 
  • Wipes;
  • Disposable baby diapers and adult incontinence products;
  • Feminine care products;
  • Special sanitary papers (such as those used in the medical industry); and
  • Decorative tissue papers like crepe paper and laminated tissue papers.
Napkin @0.5x  Medical-crepe-paper 7_8 
Tissue Paper 2 7_8  stock-photo-box-of-tissues_7-8 

For more detailed product definitions, click here.

What We Do

Tissue and towel products are a popular, growing market. Demand for various tissue products continues to increase in the U.S. and

One primary raw material used to manufacture tissue products is pulp, and many tissue products include pulp made from recycled paper. Most mills in the U.S. that produce tissue use some recovered paper to make new tissue products. To learn more about paper making and the recovery process, visit the recycling resources section of

Rolls of toilet paper were first introduced in the late 1800s and facial tissue made its debut in the 1920s. Disposable diapers have been in use since the late 1940s. Innovations in tissue and towel products have led to new product applications to meet the changing demographics of on-the-go millennials and today's families.

The tissue industry has a history of innovation and technology to continuously update its products for strength, softness, reduced lint, and better methods of packaging and distribution for individual use.

Career Opportunities

Careers in the tissue sector range from research and engineering to logistics and operations to marketing and sales. If you are you interested in joining the tissue industry, check TAPPI’s career center.

To learn more about employment opportunities at AF&PA tissue member companies, please use the links below:

Clearwater Paper
Marcal, A Soundview Paper Company, LLC
The Procter & Gamble
Resolute Forest Products
Seaman Paper Company
Wausau Paper
White Mountain Tissue, LLC

Why Our Products

Tissue products are diverse, widespread and help to improve the quality of people’s lives around the world every single day. By providing value, tissue products have helped to create modern life.


Paper_towels@3x-80Tissue products include those for sanitary use, such as bathroom and facial tissue, napkins, paper towels and wipes, and special sanitary papers used in sterile medical procedures. Disposable tissue products have helped reduce the spread of bacteria and communicable diseases.


European Tissue Symposium
Contamination of the Washroom Infographic

Microbiological Comparison of Hand Drying Methods: The Potential for Contamination of the Environment, User and Bystander - December 2014

Mayo Clinic Proceedings
The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of Evidence - 2012

Study of Consumers’ Attitudes to Different Handdrying Systems – June 2008


Strong, ultra-light and soft, tissue products are used in and away from home for cleaning and hygiene purposes. They are dependable and can be used on the go!


Tissue products are inherently sustainable. Whether they are made from sustainably harvested wood fiber trees or recycled paper, demand for tissue products ensures that the resources used to make them will be plentiful for generations to come. In addition, the U.S. paper and wood products industry voluntarily makes efforts to continuously improve upon its sustainability record.

  • Tissue manufacturers drive demand for recovered fiber. In 2014, most U.S. mills with tissue paper capacity used some recovered paper to make new tissue products and 18 of those mills used only recovered paper.
  • On average, about two-thirds of the energy used by pulp and paper mills comes from renewable sources such as byproducts like carbon-neutral biomass that would not otherwise be used in the tissue and paper making process.
  • Tissue manufacturers continue to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their facilities through efforts like reducing the use of fossil fuels and purchased energy, and reducing truck transportation.
  • Tissue manufacturers work to combat illegal logging, requiring the loggers they purchase from to adhere to sustainable forest management practices and ensuring the wood they purchase is not from controversial sources.
  • Tissue manufacturers continue to look for ways to improve their safety record in terms of, for example, total case incidence rate, days away/restricted or transfer rate, lost time incidence rate, and near misses.
  • In U.S. pulp and paper mills, water is used ten times, on average, before treatment and discharge.


Tissue products are continuously updated. Through technology, tissue manufacturers are making continued improvements on resource recovery to maximize the amount of product they can produce from source materials.