Politics Everywhere

Politics Everywhere: Toilet Paper

John Sides Sep 24 '09

toilet-paper.jpg

bq. There is a battle for America’s behinds.

If only more news articles started that way.

bq. It is a fight over toilet paper: the kind that is blanket-fluffy and getting fluffier so fast that manufacturers are running out of synonyms for “soft” (Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first big brand to go three-ply and three-adjective). It’s a menace, environmental groups say — and a dark-comedy example of American excess.

It gets better. Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council:

bq. We don’t need old-growth forests . . . to wipe our behinds.

Plus this on toilet paper manufacturing:

bq. The reason for this fight lies in toilet-paper engineering. Each sheet is a web of wood fibers, and fibers from old trees are longer, which produces a smoother and more supple web. Fibers made from recycled paper — in this case magazines, newspapers or computer printouts — are shorter. The web often is rougher.

And then this piece wisdom, from Tim Spring, “chief executive of Marcal Manufacturing, a New Jersey paper maker that is trying to persuade customers to try 100 percent recycled paper”:

bq. Strength of toilet paper is more important [than softness], for obvious reasons. If the paper breaks during your use of toilet paper, obviously, that’s very, very important.

Indeed.

The article is here.

[Hat tip to Serena Wille.]