Newspaper article China Post

Making Flushing Toilet Paper a Universal Hygienic Practice

Newspaper article China Post

Making Flushing Toilet Paper a Universal Hygienic Practice

Article excerpt

With the recent conclusion of the Sochi Olympics, people have probably gotten over the various supposed signs that Sochi was not ready for the event. It is all well and good now that a missing floor in a hotel, stray dogs, workers sleeping in rooms and a general state of unkemptness have been overcome. There is one anecdote that deserves closer scrutiny, however.

"People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... THIS." says Greg Wyshynski, a journalist who posted a photo of a restroom in Sochi. It's a photo of a notice next to the bin. It says: "Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet!"

Which brings us to the current state of toilet hygiene in this country. Taiwan can boast of excellent public hygiene in most areas. The government even included Taiwan's high rate of flush toilet usage as a factor in the nation's "happiness index." A notable exception however, comes from a glaring, inescapable and intimate area - toilet paper disposal. It is customary in Taiwan for there to be a bin next to toilets. The commonly held belief that the drainage pipes will become clogged by toilet paper is illustrative of a problem that demands attention. Change is necessary because hygiene is being threatened in this country without enough impetus to push for a solution.

In all fairness to our fellow citizens, the Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly called on people to throw their toilet paper waste into bins. In a recent report entitled "Exploration of overall impact resulting from throwing toilet paper into hygiene facilities," the EPA came to the same conclusion again, encouraging people not to flush toilet paper.

The report affirms the ability of toilet paper to "physically dissolve" in water and agrees that flushing is a method to resolve issues such as reducing the stink from and volume of trash. The EPA points out however that the decomposition rate of toilet paper is low in the sewage pipe, leading to possible blockages. The cost of cleaning cesspools is estimated to double because of this problem. Furthermore, the EPA claims that incinerating toilet paper multiplies the quantity of recovered electricity many times over - versus the minimal efficacy of burying sediment. …

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