January 28, 2009

Toilet Paper Poems May Help Cut Down Use

A Japanese group campaigning to save toilet paper as part of the country's battle against global warming is saying that poetry in the bathroom can cut down on paper use too.

A study by the research center Japan Toilet Labo says that by simply pasting a "toilet poem" at the eye level of a person seated in the cubicle can help cut toilet paper use by up to 20 percent.

"That paper will meet you only for a moment," reads one poem. "Fold the paper over and over and over again," says another. Or just: "Love the toilet."

The group is now looking to have their posters displayed in 1,000 public toilets.

"We asked ourselves what we could do for the environment in the toilet?" said Ryusuke Nagahara of the Japan Toilet Labo. "The answer is to save toilet paper and save water."

According to an industry body, toilet paper use in Japan has been increasing in recent years, possibly because of the rise in the number of public toilets, a place where people tend to use more toilet paper.

"It's because it's free," said an official at the Kikaisuki Washi Rengokai. "At home, people are more inclined to scrimp."