Who Cares about Toilet Paper?

Seventy-five percent of the world doesn't use toilet paper. Some use bidets, while others just use their hands and a bit of water. However, the nearly 2 billion people who clean their bums with loo roll enjoy a real clean feeling without soaking their cheeks or getting their hands dirty.

Wondering what's going on behind your behind? Learn about the time and money behind toilet paper:

Making TP

TP is made of ground up trees, and the amount of TP a toilet paper manufacturer can harvest from a single tree varies widely based on the trees' size, density and other features. Rough calculations suggest the average pine or fir tree can yield about 4,500 rolls. Based on an average consumption rate of 100 rolls per year, the average person takes about 45 years to wipe up an entire tree.

Harvesting Trees

Toilet paper manufacturers use pulp from both hard and soft woods to create their bottom-cleaning rolls, and they have the option of using virgin growth trees or recycled pulp. That makes it easy for consumers to get toilet paper that has been sourced in line with their environmental beliefs, as well as paper that meets their cleaning needs.Want a strong tissue that doesn't break down easily? Then, you need the long fibers in pine trees or Douglas firs. These fibres naturally wrap around each other, providing integrity to each sheet. Prefer softness to the toosh? Then, you need TP made from hardwood trees such as gum, maple and oak. Their relatively short fibres help create soft and comfortable toilet paper.To get the perfect balance of strength and softness, manufacturers usually use a bit of both woods. The end goal is 70 percent hardwood and 30 percent softwood, meaning your TP is likely softer than it is strong, but that combo works for most people.

Understanding Ply

Ply is the number of layers in toilet paper. Single-ply has just one layer, and double-ply has two layers. Depending on the manufacturer and product, thicknesses can vary greatly. Single ply is regularly used in low-cost applications such as fast food and petrol stations, since it is a cheaper, lower quality product. 2 ply and 3 ply toilet paper is the preferred toilet paper used in homes, offices, and businesses across the country.

The other added benefit to 2 ply and 3 ply is that they usually are made from higher quality materials. Thickness is only one part to toilet paper. Using a softer, higher quality product like 2 ply or 3 ply makes for a more pleasant experience.

No one really knows why single-ply tends to last longer -- it could be because it isn't nice to use so people tend to wipe quickly and go on their way. Single-ply tends to be popular in the toilets at fast food joints and petrol stations. Business owners who want their clients to be comfortable and employers crafting a positive work space tend to use double or triple ply in their toilets.

Using TP in Public Toilets

Businesses that offer public toilets to their clients should anticipate that the average person uses eight to nine sheets of loo roll for every trip to the toilet. To ensure they have what they need, businesses should keep toilets well stocked and have plenty of extra rolls on hand.

Branding and Budgeting With Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is considered a necessity by most people in the Western world, and in fact, rapper Ja Rule has identified the lack of quality TP as one of the worst things about being in jail. Describing the grueling experience without soft roll, he said, "When you go to jail, there's so much simple stuff missing. You just want some good toilet paper or a real toothbrush, a real blanket and a real bed to lay in."

Surprisingly, in spite of being a cultural necessity, toilet paper is often overlooked in most discussions of business finances and brand creation. However, it's a big player in both of those categories.

Businesses have to budget for adequate amounts of paper, but they have to consider what their clients will think when they sit down and reach for the roll. Ultimately, it's a delicate balancing act between staying within budget guidelines while also creating a positive image that sticks with clients long after they've flushed.

Creating Image

Toilet paper is a utilitarian product, designed to absorb moisture and goo from bums, but it's not just about function. It's also about image, and in fact, many people rate the restaurants they visit not just by their food but also by the quality of their loo rolls. As a result, there is a huge market for luxury toilet paper.

For example, the Bambusia Chinese Restaurant in Bondi Junction is known for more than just its peking ducks, cashew chicken and other delights. It is also known for a very clean restroom and nice toilet paper that greets you when you walk to the back and enter the toilets. After you've finished your business and reach for a roll, it is the perfect blend of softness and strength to clean you up and get you back on your way. So maybe judge your restaurant by the toilet paper and if they skimp on that, maybe they are skimping somewhere else too. Going to a restaurant is more than just the food you eat, after all. It’s the entire experience, from the service to the seating and, often least thought about, the your experience doing your “business”.

Wiping in Luxury and Style

Choosing between single and double ply isn't the only decision you have to make when choosing toilet paper. There is an emerging market of luxury paper. You can choose scented rolls, individually wrapped rolls, and even triple or quadruple ply in some cases. To ensure you get the roll that matches your craving for luxury and style, companies like the Toilet Paper Man offer over a dozen varieties just in the double-ply category.

Luxury loo roll isn't a new trend. Since ancient times, bum cleaning practices have varied based on class and status. While "commoners" have scrubbed their puckered holes with everything, from corncobs, to moss, to fruit peels and old catalogs, the elite have long sought a softer, more tender approach to butt maintenance. In ancient times, wealthy Romans sheared sheep and dipped the wool in rose water before using it, and back in the day, French royalty wiped their bums with beautiful, intricate swatches of lace.

As avant-garde rocker, Captain Beefheart has infamously quipped, "You can almost judge how screwed up somebody is by the kind of toilet paper they use."

Want to learn more about toilet paper and how it impacts your "bottom" line? Then contact us. We'd love to talk.

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