So how do you choose the right toilet paper and dispenser systems for a facility that cares about their washroom visitors, corporate image and budget?
Before we get to the answer, let's get you up to speed on toilet paper and run through some basics. This way, you will be able to make the right decision for your facility, and for yourself at home.
What does toilet paper 'Ply' mean?
There is 1ply, 2ply and 3ply toilet paper available. There is even 4 ply but that's getting a bit over the top in our opinion.
1ply is simply one layer of paper. 2ply and 3ply is 2 or 3 layers of paper pressed together via an embossing process. The embossing part can be very basic like 2 lines, or in the case of our luxury toilet rolls in 2ply and 3ply, they have a nice design on them.
Next time you are in the loo, take a close look at the paper. Look at the end of the sheet. Separate the ply's and count them. Fascinating stuff!
Which ply is better?
There is definitely a place for every ply option.
1ply toilet paper
1ply is good for prisons but also what you are generally required to use in a lot of boats, caravans and other macerator-style toilet systems. It's so it breaks down faster and easier. Other than that, it is maybe just for when you are obliged to provide toilet paper but don't really care about the visitor's experience in the washroom. And that is okay. Keep in mind 1ply may be false economy because people tend to use a lot of it to ensure no fingers break through at that critical moment.
2ply toilet paper
2ply is the most common ply in commercial facilities and what we like to say 'away from home' applications. The benefit of 2ply is that it gives you the best of both worlds. You get decent quality with the 2ply but you get can get lots of sheets onto the roll because they aren't too thick. This means rolls can last longer which is a real benefit in facilities because you simply can't afford to run out of paper!
3ply toilet paper
3ply is what the majority of Australians use at home. That's what you buy at Coles, Woolies and Aldi. It's nice and thick and luxurious. The more plys, the more cushioning and softer feel you get. The trap on your 3ply products is that you sacrifice the amount of sheets on a roll and end up going through the rolls! That's why we developed the XO2 3ply 220 sheet toilet roll. We wind it onto the roll a fraction tighter so you get longer rolls and better economy. It has now become economical enough to use in commercial facilities, especially 5-star hotels and resorts.
What does 'sheet' mean?
This term applies to toilet paper that has cut sheets or perforations. So this is regular toilet rolls and interleaved toilet tissue. It allows the user to tear off or pull out of the dispenser the number of sheets they want.
What are 'Poo Tickets'?
These are commonly found in port-a-loos or portable toilets or in places where you are wanting to reduce and control usage. 1ply poo tickets are a little nasty but the 2ply ones are actually not too bad and a really good choice for many commercial applications. Poo tickets are also known as interleaved toilet tissues and require a special dispenser for users to take what they need.
What is a core?
The core is the cardboard cylinder that the paper is wound onto. It allows for strength but also so that the roll can spin freely on the dispenser spindle. It is a cylinder looking thing and makes a great alternative to a megaphone. At XO2, we fondly refer to these as 'da-doot-da-doos'. When you get to the end of a roll, you grab the core, put it to your lips and make the sound... da-doot-da-doo!
What is a jumbo toilet roll?
As the name suggests, it is a really big toilet paper roll specifically designed for high-traffic commercial facilities. It comes in 1ply or 2ply options and is measured in metres on the roll as the paper is not perforated. The way you get the paper is by pulling at the roll and tearing it off in the dispenser which has some teeth looking things. A bit messy, and a bit rough, but a great choice for really busy commercial toilets. Jumbo toilet rolls need to be fitted inside a lockable dispenser. These dispensers are available in plastic or stainless steel material. You can get single jumbo roll dispensers and larger two-roll capacity dispensers.
What is Virgin grade? What is Recycled grade?
Generally, your virgin grade is super white and soft paper, and is generally better quality. The paper plantations do their thing and the pulp paper is then processed into mother rolls. Recycled grade is generally a little off-white with specks of light brown to tan. This is either made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper waste or a blend of virgin and recycled pulp. The post-consumer waste needs to be chemically treated and processed but it does come out great depending on the manufacturer. We partnered up with Earthcare on this one. They do an amazing 100% post-consumer waste paper that is actually right up there with virgin as far as softness and strength. It is a great eco-friendly choice.
When the quality of toilet paper is less than what people use at home they are proven to overcompensate. No one wants poo on their hands so they go overboard with the paper. They make absolutely sure their hand and the poo never get close. Improving the quality of toilet paper can actually reduces usage and wastage.
Which toilet paper costs you more?
Now that you understand ply, sheet, and quality, and have an idea of the different applications and requirements (commercial facility versus home use), you are ready for the answer.
The answer is... it is up to you. You decide what experience you want to give your visitors and yourself. Do you want the cheapest? An eco-friendly option? Or a premium option? Factor in the traffic of your washroom and how many times you want them serviced each day or week. You will land on either regular toilet rolls or jumbo rolls or maybe something in between like interleaved toilet tissue.
Just don't be a dummy and get sucked into comparing the cost of the cartons. You know better than that now. Look at the number of sheets, ply, rolls/boxes in the carton and usage habits of your visitors. A lot of time, a $100 toilet roll carton works out to be way cheaper than a $20 carton!
Usage and wastage are the enemies when it comes to controlling costs. So also think about your toilet roll dispensers that can reduce usage and eliminate theft.
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