Tag Archives: toilet paper

Philanthropic toilet paper: “Who Gives a Crap” raises money for sanitation

After sitting on the toilet for 50 hours, Australian social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths raised AU$ 50,000 {US$ 51,000) through crowdfunding for a new line of philanthropic toilet paper. Griffiths plans to donate 50% of the profits from the sale of “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper to WaterAid for sanitation projects. The next step is to raise another AU$ 50,000 to convince Australian supermarkets to stock “Who Gives A Crap” rolls on their shelves by the end of the year.

See the slick, humorous campaign video.

Griffiths is CEO of social enterprise Good Goods which he co-founded with fellow engineering graduate from the University of Melbourne Jehan Ratnatunga. Their first social enterprise, Ripple.org, also helped raise funds for WaterAid. In 2010, they began working on Who Gives A Crap in 2010 together with product designer Danny Alexander, who had been was involved in the Ghanasan project.

Web sitewww.whogivesacrap.org

South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal: factory workers denied proper sanitation

Workers in many clothing and textile factories in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal are denied proper sanitation facilities, a trade union survey has found.

Workers were not supplied with toilet paper and being forced to use pieces of fabric, SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) secretary Chris Gina said. [...].

“Workers are expected to place these fabric off-cuts in bags or boxes next to the toilet… which are often only removed once a week, resulting in filthy, smelly, and unhygienic conditions,” he said in a statement.

“At almost all companies that we surveyed workers are not supplied with toilet paper.”

Factories that did supply toilet paper, made workers pay for it and deducted the costs from their weekly wages.

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SCA marketing small packages of hygiene products – diapers, sanitary napkins and toilet paper

Global hygiene and paper company SCA has started offering low-cost hygiene products in small packages in Latin America and Asia. Similar projects are being planned in Africa and the Middle East. Items being sold include diapers, sanitary napkins and toilet paper.

For many people with low incomes, using hygiene products on a regular basis is too expensive. That’s the case with diapers, which many children use only at night or on special occasions. In Latin America SCA produces individually packaged Pequeñin diapers, each sealed in a thin layer of plastic. [...] “Business owners often break open packages and sell the diapers individually, which is less hygienic.” In Asia, too, SCA sells diapers in small packages.

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Worldwatch Institute – Flushing Our Forests Down the Toilet

Flushing Our Forests Down the Toilet

by Julia Tier on April 15, 2010

Washington, D.C.-Worldwide, the equivalent of almost 270,000 trees is either flushed or dumped in landfills every day and roughly 10 percent of that total is attributable to toilet paper. Meanwhile, growing populations, adoption of Western lifestyles, and sanitation improvements in developing countries are driving the increased use of toilet paper. According to the latest issue of World Watch magazine, the result is that forests in both the global North and South are under assault by paper companies competing to fill consumer demand.

“Steadily increasing demand for toilet paper in developing countries is a critical factor in the impact that toilet paper manufacturer have on forests around the world,” says author Noelle Robbins. “And with the increasing pressure to reduce and discontinue the use of old growth forests, the move is on to tree plantations.”

But according to Robbins, this cure could be worse than the disease. While the paper industry often touts plantations as the solution to creating an ongoing supply of virgin pulp and fiber, these monocultures often displace indigenous plant and animal life, require tremendous amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and soak up large quantities of water.

While some toilet paper manufacturers rely on forests, others turn to trash cans for their raw materials. Advocates of recycled toilet paper point out that converting virgin pulp to toilet paper requires more water than recycled paper and makes use of the tons of already used paper that fills landfills. Various estimates place the quantity of waste paper tossed into U.S. dumps and landfills at 35-40 percent of total landfilled mass.

“Toilet tissue, whether manufactured from virgin pulp or recycled paper, will continue to be an important part of daily life in Western countries and in developing countries emphasizing improved sanitation to mitigate health concerns,” says Robbins. “Education of consumers; improvements in quality, pricing, and marketing recycled products; and willingness to consider toilet paper alternatives such as water for cleansing must be pursued to meet the needs of a growing global population.”

Source – http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6411

Cashmere toilet paper is “top for bottoms”

Waitrose Cashmere enriched toilet tissues

UK supermarket chain Waitrose has introduced toilet paper with cashmere extracts. The super soft cashmere toilet roll is part of a new range, which includes jojoba and aloe vera enriched tissues. With a scented core, the Jojoba toilet rolls double as toilet air fresheners.

The toilet rolls retail for £2.29 (US$ 4.20) for a pack of four and £4.79 (US$ 7.50) for a pack of nine.

“In times of economic hardship” Waitrose says in their press release, “it’s the little luxuries that put a smile on your face”.

Actually, you would put an even bigger smile on your face if you donated money to build latrines rather than wasting it on overpriced toilet paper.

Source: Waitrose, 11 Feb 2009

USA: environmentalists target plush toilet paper

The soft variety’s lack of recycled material is a sore spot for environmental groups. But some changes are occurring in the industry.

[Soft toilet] is a menace environmental groups say [because it is] usually made by chopping down and grinding up trees that were decades or even a century old. Environmentalists want Americans, like Europeans, to wipe with tissue made from recycled paper goods.

It has been slow going. Big toilet-paper makers say that they’ve taken steps to become more Earth-friendly but that their customers still want the soft stuff, so they’re selling it.

This summer, two of the best-known combatants in this fight signed a truce, with a big tissue maker promising to do better. But the larger battle goes on — the ultimate test of how green Americans will be when nobody’s watching.

[...] Toilet paper is far from being the biggest threat to the world’s forests: Together with facial tissue, it accounts for 5% of the U.S. forest-products industry, according to industry figures. Paper and cardboard packaging make up 26% of the industry, although more than half is made from recycled products. Newspapers account for 3%.

But environmentalists say 5% is still too much.

Felling these trees removes a valuable scrubber of carbon dioxide, they say. If the trees come from “farms” in places such as Brazil, Indonesia or the southeastern United States, natural forests are being displaced. If they come from Canada’s forested north — a major source of imported wood pulp — ecosystems valuable to bears, caribou and migratory birds are being damaged.

And, activists say, there’s just the foolish idea of the thing: old trees cut down for the briefest and most undignified of ends. “We don’t need old-growth forests . . . to wipe our behinds,” said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

[...] Big tissue makers say they’ve tried to make their products as green as possible, including by buying more wood pulp from forest operations certified as sustainable.

But despite environmentalists’ concerns, they say customers are unwavering in their desire for the softest paper possible.

[...] Last month, Greenpeace announced an agreement that it said would change this industry from the inside.

The environmental group had spent 4 1/2 years attacking Kimberly-Clark Corp., the maker of Kleenex and Cottonelle toilet paper, for getting wood from old-growth forests in Canada. But the group said it was calling off the “Kleercut” campaign: Kimberly-Clark had agreed to make its practices greener. By 2011, the company said, 40% of the fiber in all its tissue products will come from recycled paper or sustainable forests.

Source: David A. Fahrenthold, Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep 2009

Cash-strapped Cuba says toilet paper running short

Cuba, in the grip of a serious economic crisis, is running short of toilet paper and may not get sufficient supplies until the end of the year, officials with state-run companies said Friday, 7 Aug 2009.

Officials said they were lowering the prices of 24 basic goods to help Cubans get through the difficulties provoked in part by the global financial crisis and three destructive hurricanes that struck the island last year.

Cuba’s financial reserves have been depleted by increased spending for imports and reduced export income, which has forced the communist-led government to take extraordinary measures to keep the economy afloat.

“The corporation has taken all the steps so that at the end of the year there will be an important importation of toilet paper,” an official with state conglomerate Cimex said on state-run Radio Rebelde.

The shipment will enable the state-run company “to supply this demand that today is presenting problems,” he said.

Cuba both imports toilet paper and produces its own, but does not currently have enough raw materials to make it, he said.

One of the measures taken to address the cash crunch is a 20 percent cut in imports, which in recent days has become evident in the reduction of goods in state-run stores.

[...] Despite the shortages, prices will be cut between 5 percent and 27 percent for some food, drugs and personal hygiene products, officials said.

Source: Nelson Acosta and Esteban Israel, Reuters, 10 Aug 2009

Japan – Novella: latrine horror story

Japan Scary Toilet PaperIn The Latrine, No One Can Hear You Scream

While we all have our own personal tales of public-restroom related woe, Japanese horror writer Koji Suzuki (of The Ring) brings an entirely new dimension the phrase scared shitless. Forget you Kindle fans, the future of literature is to be found in Suzuki’s nine-chapter novella written enitrely on a roll of toilet paper.

Suzuki’s The Drop—yes, that’s actually the translation—takes up three feet of toilet paper and can be read in a few minutes. Selling for about $2.20 a roll in Japan, the novella is being promoted as “a horror experience in the toilet.” Beyond pure kitsch, the rationale behind this new medium is the Japanese superstition that ghosts traditionally hide in the bathroom.

And here we were afraid of what’s under the bed!

Source – Chicagoist

The toilet rolls are produced by Shizuoka-based Hayashi Paper.  The company specializes in toilet paper with various prints. In 2008 they developed a series of rolls promoting disaster prevention and safety, and crime prevention. See a video here.

Zimbabwe: Engulfed by sewage

BULAWAYO, 14 March 2008 (IRIN) – To get to Sinikiwe MaKhumalo’s doorstep in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, visitors have to step on a thin plank perched precariously over a trench that prevents sewage from flowing into her house.  The 57-year-old grandmother has endured this arrangement to access her home in the city’s Old Magwegwe working class suburb for the past five months after a sewer burst close to her residence.

The city’s unsanitary conditions has left residents fearful of a fresh outbreak of cholera. The last outbreak occurred at the height of a water crisis in 2007 when close to 300 people were hospitalised and 11 died as a result of drinking contaminated water.

Most families can no longer afford standard toilet paper and instead use newspapers or torn pieces of cardboard boxes. They also river sand to clean their pots instead of commercial, soluble, scouring powders. Both practices lead to sewer blockages.

Read more: IRIN, 14 Mar 2008