10 Fascinating (and Weird) Facts About Toilet Paper

10 Fascinating Facts About Toilet Paper

Most people use toilet papers every day because it is an essential consumable supply. These give enriched cleanliness, ease, and convenience. Toilet paper was first invented in the late 1800s and facial tissue made its appearance in the 1920s.

In various parts of the world, going to the toilet always meant using a river or stream and letting it carry the waste away. Any cleaning was just done by hand. That is why it is considered unpleasant to eat or pass food at the table with a left hand in India because it is the one that one uses in a river or stream. In many of the European countries in the present context, the practice of using toilet paper is marked as unhygienic. The most common practice in these countries is a full, soapy wash and rinse afterward using a bidet.

Toilet paper, which is usually called as toilet tissue in the UK, is a tissue paper product mainly used to wipe out the anus and nearby area of fecal material after excretion and clean the urine perineal area after urination, etc. The manufacturing process of toilet paper commences by creating a paper. Paper is sometimes made from recycled resources, but materials, such as virgin tree pulp is also utilized. Today the toilet paper which we use is typically a paper made from trees, but the paper made from the hemp plant is used too. The toilet paper was invented by an entrepreneur named Joseph Gayetty at New York in 1857, who claimed his sheets prohibited hemorrhoids. He got his name printed on each sheet.

The toilet paper industry is expanding day by day. There is a large number of factories which are manufacturing different kinds of toilet paper. Therefore, one has a lot of options, by choosing the toilet paper by analyzing the cost, style, size, color and subsequently the softness. There are two kinds of toilet paper: the one which is made from the trees, and the other one is made from recycled paper.

But have one ever thought of how these papers came into existence which we all are using every day? How people are using the same around the world? About 10 most fascinating facts about toilet papers are presented below:

1. 4 Billion People Does Not Use Toilet Paper

Man holding toilet paper roll in bathroom
Man holding toilet paper roll in the bathroom

It has been seen that there are about four billion people or 70-75 percent population in the world who are not using toilet papers. People in some areas of the world are deprived of using toilet paper due to the scarcity of trees in their province. Some people are not in a position to afford toilet paper and others are not in favor of spending money on expensive paper to clean their behinds. Above all, water is the general solution instead of toilet paper.

2. Total Number of Sheets of Toilet Paper Consumed per Year and Day

Toilet paper in marble bathroom
Toilet paper in the marble bathroom

The number of sheets on a roll differs entirely depending on the manufacturer and the kind of paper which is being used. It has been estimated that a person, on an average basis, consumes 95-120 rolls of toilet paper per year and 60 sheets of toilet paper per day. This clearly shows that a lot is being spent on them and it is sheer wastage of money.

3. Secondary Uses of Toilet Paper

Mother and daughter caring for skin
Man holding toilet paper roll in the bathroom

Toilet paper is used for secondary purposes, such as taking care of nostrils, removing makeup, covering toilet seats, packaging material, cleaning glasses, and mirrors, etc. The average usage of a roll of toilet paper lasts approximately for five days in a normal household. It has been noticed that consumers use at least 8-9 sheets of paper per toilet use. The weight of the normal roll is about 227 grams.

4. Compare Two-Ply and One-Ply Toilet Paper

Water closet with open door and white toilet bowl
Water closet with an open door and white toilet bowl

A two-ply toilet paper is made up of two layers with 10 thickness paper whereas, one-ply comprises a 13 thickness paper. While making a comparison between the two, it has been found that one-ply toilet paper is durable and lasts long. It also breaks down faster in a septic tank.

5. Documentation of the First Use of Toilet Paper

The first use of toilet paper was documented in China during the 6th century. Yan Zhitui was the first person who officially mentioned the use of toilet paper in 589 AD because the Chinese government did not initiate the mass production of toilet paper until the 14th century.

6. Number of Trees Used in Making the Toilet Paper

Trees being logged at a manufacturer
Trees being logged at a manufacturer

The weight of a normal tree is 1,020 pounds which yield around 460 pounds of blanched chemical mash. Approximately 800 rolls of toilet paper are produced from a single tree. Therefore, about 385 trees are used in the manufacturing of toilet paper that one person uses within his life span.

Toilet paper is generally a blend of around 70 percent hardwood and 30 percent softwood respectively. Other materials that are used in the manufacturing are water, chemicals for turning down the trees into usable fiber, and bleaches.

In order to make toilet paper, one needs trees. Although there are many eco-friendly alternatives available in the market, one should limit the usage of toilet papers for the sake of forests and the environment.

7. Daily Manufacturing of a Toilet Paper

Millions of toilet papers are produced per day. Toilet paper is frequently used for creating dresses. Hundreds of wedding dresses have been made out of toilet paper and many have been worn to real weddings. The toilet paper comprises strong material with distinct characteristics that make it a fascinating challenge for dressmakers to use. There is even an annual competition organized in New York for the best wedding dress made from toilet paper.

8. Patenting of Toilet Paper

Mr Seth Wheeler Toilet Paper Patent
Mr. Seth Wheeler Toilet Paper Patent

The initial patenting for the toilet paper was done by Mr. Seth Wheeler of New York in the year 1891. Nowadays, there are various high-tech machines in place in the office which automatically converts utilized copier papers and makes toilet rolls out of it.

9. Toilet Paper Without Plastic

It is almost impossible to purchase toilet paper which is buying plastic-free but there are now a few companies that are offering toilet paper without plastic. One can purchase toilet paper produced from sustainable bamboo/sugarcane fibers.

10. Toilet Paper Museum

A toilet paper museum was situated in Wisconsin, The Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue, but it was shut down in 2000. It once had over 2,800-3,100 reels of toilet papers from across the globe. Nobody’s Perfect is a virtual toilet paper museum which is still in force.

On a different note, Koji Suzuki, a renowned horror novelist of Japan published his whole novel on a particular reel of toilet paper. The novel took place in a public restroom and the whole story runs almost three-four feet long.

Other Facts

Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the US (1993 to 2001) approved a Toilet Paper Tax of 6-7 cents per roll in 1996, which is in force till today. Barack Obama, 44th President of the US (2009 to 2017) was in favor of hiking the same but the House did not pass the resolution. The Pentagon normally utilizes around 660-670 sheets of toilet paper on a daily basis. The most expensive toilet paper in the world is Renova which is a Portuguese brand. It is three-ply, perfumed and stems in various colors.

The popularity of colored toilet paper in the US until the 1940s cannot be undermined. Seven percent of Americans confess that they steal rolls of toilet paper in hotels. They use an average of 8.6 sheets of toilet paper.

On a similar note, there is no standardized use of toilet paper in India. However, it can be seen in hotels and restaurants and in some homes of the rich. Many western people traveling to India might find themselves in difficulty while using a traditional Indian bathroom. This difficulty is further aggravated if they are not able to get toilet paper.

Toilet paper is meant for the public to access but at the same time, it should not be used extensively. It is in this regard Chinese officials have worked for years to limit the unnecessary usage of toilet paper in public facilities. Unlike many countries that offer a general toilet paper roll for all people in the public restrooms, China totally avoids placing the same.

There is a global demand for toilet paper, which nearly uses 30,000 trees every day that means 10 million trees a year. The consumption of toilet paper has significantly increased due to the rising population and that more and more are following the Western lifestyle. Now life has become much easier with the advent of handy machines which can be purchased online for manufacturing paper. One only needs to do an Internet search to locate the e-stores that are providing these toilet papers at a minimal cost. In lieu of toilet paper’ gaining significance each day and becoming a domestic necessity, people have come up with certain innovative approaches and strategic interventions, such as inserting advertisements on the toilet paper, resourceful restroom games, etc.

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