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resorted to corn cobs. Coconut shells were the implement of choice for the Hawaiians, while the Inuits used tundra moss and snow.

Purpose-made toilet paper is claimed as a US invention – Joseph Gayetty began producing it commercially in 1857 in packs of 500 sheets with his name printed on each sheet. Toilet ‘rolls’ began being produced in the US and the UK around 30 years later but the first mass-produced toilet paper was so coarse to the touch that it was not uncommon to find wood splinters in early versions.

In fact hard, shiny toilet paper stayed around for years. Izal and Bronco were both brands of harsh, non-absorbent rolls that were commonly found in Britain’s washrooms until as recently as the 1960s. But by this time, 2-ply toilet tissue had been invented and soft toilet paper was also widely in use.

When visiting a public washroom in some countries you will be expected to pay for your paper while in others – such as Japan, for instance – there may be a vending machine for the purpose. Toilet tissue is supplied free in UK washrooms, but there is no guarantee that this will not have run out.

We at Tork make washroom systems that help to prevent the issue of toilet paper running out between maintenance checks. This is achieved

by means of a number of simple yet effective devices.

Loose toilet rolls in a public washroom are viewed as easy pickings by some unscrupulous people who take them home to bolster their household supply. Our lockable dispensers help to secure the contents and prevent pilferage which can lead to a paper shortage for other users.

It can be difficult to predict when the toilet tissue will run out in a public washroom. While it is possible to monitor visitor numbers, who knows how much paper each of them will use? A dispenser with a brake function – such as that for the Tork SmartOne – makes it harder for visitors to take out more than one length of tissue at a time. This naturally reduces consumption and ensures a longer- lasting supply.

Tork also offers toilet tissue systems that can be topped up at any time such as Tork Folded Toilet Paper. And the Tork Twin Mid-Size Toilet Paper Dispenser allows a second roll to be dropped in at any time at the cleaner’s convenience. Top-uppable systems help to prevent the problem of toilet paper running out between maintenance checks.

Where a jumbo roll is supplied in high- traffic washrooms, cleaners either have to predict the exact moment it is likely to run out or change the roll

before it has been fully used up, and this can lead to waste. Tork jumbo toilet roll dispensers have a stub-roll feature that allows the rest of the old roll to be used up alongside the new.

Toilet tissue remains in plentiful supply in the western world. Much of it comes from recycled paper and the rest originates from fibres from sustainably-managed forests, such as SCA’s own forests in Sweden. However since fewer products these days are made from virgin fibres there is less paper available to recycle.

SCA is currently looking at producing paper from non-wood fibre sources such elephant grass while other industry consultants are considering the potential of bamboo, sugar cane and wheat in the paper production process. If successful these moves could provide a new source of products that could eventually be recycled into toilet tissue.

The humble loo roll may not be among the top ten inventions of all time. But since its relatively recent arrival it has become one of the most essential products in our western culture – and one we would definitely rather not be without.

Tomorrow’s Cleaning February 2016 | 57

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