Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wipe it !

I'm an object, but first of all a contradiction. I'm everywhere, but I seem to be nowhere. You use me every single day of your life, without exception. Yet, never do you talk about me. I do great things for you, Still, consciously or not, you reject me to obscurity. You almost force yourslef not to think about me.

My name is toilet paper, and today, you shall have no choice but to listen to what i have to say.


Raw Materials
Toilet paper is generally made from new or "virgin" paper, using a combination of softwood and hardwood trees. Softwood trees such as Southern pines and Douglas firs have long fibers that wrap around each other; this gives paper strength. Hardwood trees like gum, maple and oak have shorter fibers that make a softer paper. Toilet paper is generally a combination of approximately 70% hardwood and 30% softwood.

Other materials used in manufacture include water, chemicals for breaking down the trees into usable fiber, and bleaches. Companies that make paper from recycled products use oxygen, ozone, sodium hydroxide, or peroxide to whiten the paper. Virgin-paper manufacturers, however, often use chlorine-based bleaches (chlorine dioxide), which have been identified as a threat to the environment.

The Manufacturing Process

1. Trees arive at the mill and are debarked, a process that removes the tree's outer layer while leaving as much wood on the tree as possible.

2. The debarked logs are chipped into a uniform size. These small pieces make it easier to pulp the wood.

3. The batch of wood chips is then mixed with cooking chemicals; the resultant slurry is sent to a pressure cooker called a digester.

4. During the cooking, which can last up to three hours, much of the moisture in the wood is evaporated (wood chips contain about 50% moisture). The mixture is reduced to cellulose fibers, lignin (which binds the wood fibers together) and other substances. Out of this, you can find the usable fiber, called pulp, which result from each cooked batch.

5. The pulp goes through a multistage washer system that removes most of the lignin and the cooking chemicals. This fluid, called black liquor, is separated from the pulp, which goes on to the next stage of production.

6. The washed pulp is sent to the bleach plant where a multistage chemical process removes color from the fiber. Residual lignin, the adhesive that binds fibers together, will yellow paper over time and must be bleached to make paper white.

7. The pulp is mixed with water again to produce paper stock, a mixture that is 99.5% water and 0.5% fiber. The paper stock is sprayed between moving mesh screens, which allow much of the water to drain. This produces an 18-ft (5.5-m) wide sheet of matted fiber at a rate of up to 6,500 ft (1981 m) per minute.

8. The mat is then transferred to a huge heated cylinder called a Yankee Dryer that presses and dries the paper to a final moisture content of about 5%.

9. Next, the paper is creped, a process that makes it very soft. During creping, the paper is scraped off the Yankee Dryer with a metal blade. This makes the sheets somewhat flexible but lowers their strength and thickness so that they virtually disintegrate when wet. The paper, which is produced at speeds over a mile a minute, is then wound on reels that can weigh as much as five tons.

The paper is then loaded onto converting machines that unwind, slit, and rewind it onto long thin cardboard tubing, making a paper log. The paper logs are then cut into rolls and wrapped packages.

Toilet tissue made from recycled paper is made from both colored and white stock. The paper goes into a huge vat called a pulper that combines it with hot water and detergents to turn it into a liquid slurry. The recycled pulp then goes through a series of screens and rinses to remove paper coatings and inks. The pulp is whitened and sanitized with oxygen-based products like peroxide. It then goes through steps 7 through 10 like virgin paper products, producing a cheaper, less-white paper.


A roll of toilet paper costs about 6 cents to produce. A machine can produce from 25 to 80 rolls per minute, and on average 40 000 rolls are produced per day by a classical machine.
Today there are over 5,000 different companies producing bathroom tissue around the world trying to make our lives more convenient, clean and efficient. Charmin, Cottonelle, Lotus...

Main producing countries :

1. China

2. Hong Kong

3. United States

4. Turkey

5. South Africa

6. United Kingdom

  1. Bulgaria

With a little over 6 billion humans living on earth, that calls for the daily production of 83,048,116 eighty three million forty eight thousand one hundred and sixteen rolls per day with no days off and no vacations, 30.6 billion rolls per year and 2.7 rolls per second. Strangely enough, that’s 80% greater than our daily consumption or use of salt, 63% greater than our average use of milk, and 84 billion more people served annually than McDonald’s fast food restaurants. Yet, still we often times remain oblivious to toilet paper and take advantage of the convenience it provides for us.

Each time we reach for the “cotton-savior”, an average tear of 5.9 sheets is ripped from the roll. This doesn't take into account the other uses than can be made of the toilet paper.

A typical brand's 12-pack retails for $6.99, which makes $0,58 per roll. We can thus see that it is an industry that makes huge profits, the rolls are sold about 10 times their price of production. The prices vary a lot depending on the variety of toilet paper. Logically, the most expensive to produce are the most expensive when sold. The more ply there are, the more thicker they are, the more expensive they are. You can also find the perfumed toilet papers, or even fancy printed ones.

There are about 352 sheets per roll, meaning that it will last a family of four about 18 to 19 days. That means that family needs to buy a 12-pack about 20 times per year, putting the annual toilet-tissue costs around $140.

Twenty-six billion rolls of toilet paper, worth about US$ 2.4 billion, are sold yearly in America alone. Americans use an average of 100 rolls per capita a year.

While it’s that true toilet paper as we know it today hasn’t changed much, our consumption may have. In fact, the average U.S. consumer uses more than 21 000 sheets annually.

Moreover, we can say that toilet paper will always have value because it is a good we cannot do without. In some countries the use of toilet paper was not really widespread, due to cultural differences, and people used other means. In Japan, a lot of people still use water to clean themselves. Nevertheless, globalization made the use of toilet paper common in a lot more countries, and this process is still going on today, which means that the demand for toilet paper in the world is still rising.

When you think of producers of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and resource depletion, toilet paper probably doesn’t join the list of products and industries that come to mind. But the natural resources that go into toilet paper should be taken into account. According to some estimates, approximately 7 million trees are used each year to make up the U.S.’s toilet paper supply.The idea of using virgin wood for throwaway paper products seems silly, but it happens nearly 99 percent of the time. Toilet paper made of 100 percent recycled paper fiber makes up less than 2 percent of the market in the U.S.
The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that if every household replaced just one 500-sheet roll of virgin fiber toilet paper with a 100 percent recycled fiber roll, 423,900 trees would be saved annually.


what does it look like?

-toilet paper is available in several types of paper, a variety of colors, decorations, and textures and may be moistened or perfumed.

-The average measures of a modern roll of toilet paper is ~10 cm wide, ø 12 cm and weighs about 227 grammes.

--The average sheet of toilet paper weighs in at a little over .22 grams and 4.0625 inches per square reaching approximately338.5 feet per roll and 5.3 million miles of toilet paper per day.

-Toilet paper products vary immensely in the technical factors that distinguish them: sizes, weights, roughness, softness, chemical residues, "finger-breakthrough" resistance, water-absorption, etc.

-Quality is usually determined by the number of plies (stacked sheets), coarseness, and durability. Low grade institutional toilet paper is typically of the lowest grade of paper, has only one or two plies, is very coarse and sometimes has small amounts of unbleached/unpulped paper embedded in it.

-Two-ply toilet paper is the standard in many countries, although one-ply is often available and marketed as a budget option. Toilet paper, especially if it is marketed as "luxury", may be quilted or rippled (embossed), perfumed, colored or patterned, medicated (with anti-bacterial chemicals), treated with aloe, etc.

-Many novelty designs are also available on toilet paper, from cute cartoon animals to pictures of disfavored political celebrities to pictures of dollar bills.

How does it differ from other objects of the same family?

-Napkins, paper towel, tissue
different size and dimensions/ cylindric shape that differentiates it from both napkins and tissues, but it is usually half the size of a roll of paper towel+ It is hanged horizontally which makes it fashionable.


  • Toilet papering (also called TP'ing, House Wrapping or Yard Rolling) is the act of covering an object, such as a tree, house, or another structure with toilet paper. This is typically done by throwing numerous toilet paper rolls in such a way that they unroll in mid-air and thus fall on the targeted object in multiple streams. Toilet papering is common in the United States and frequently takes place after the completion of a school's homecoming football game and graduation and on Halloween and Mischief Night

                  • The Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue was established in 1992, and closed in 2000. The museum was co-founded by Carol Kolb [1] and was located at 305 N. Hamilton in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in a second-floor apartment three blocks from the state capitol.


                                                                            Toilet Paper is a new magazine directed by Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari (Le Dictateur). Following in the wake of Cattelan's cult publication Permanent Food, Toilet Paper is a new generation magazine that combines commercial photography, twisted narratives and surrealistic imaginary

                                                                            • Toilet paper dresses – toilet paper used in art as form of breaking the taboo, provocation, breaking the common imges on objects

                                                                              • some activists have proposed that toilet paper be manufactured only from recycled products and suggest that consumers boycott toilet paper made of new materials.

                                                                                The production of virgin toilet paper has spawned two current controversies: the destruction of trees, and the use of chlorine dioxide to bleach the paper.

                                                                                « Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive » is a 1989 film directed by Wayne Wang.

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