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Tissue Agorà Blog

Posted By:Aug 25, 2015

Toilet paper was first used by the Chinese about 1300 years before it caught on with the rest of the world. The first references of people using toilet paper dates back to the 6th century AD in the Chinese Imperial courts and amongst the other wealthy citizens of China. This eventually spread throughout China and by the 14th century there was an annual manufacturing of around ten million packages of toilet paper in the Zhejiang province alone.

This however, did not catch on with the rest of the world for some time. Indeed, a Muslim traveler to China in the 8th century noted “They (the Chinese) are not careful about cleanliness, and they do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper.” It wouldn’t be until the late 1800s when toilet paper would be introduced in America and England and it wasn’t until the 1900s, around the same time the indoor toilet became common, that toilet paper would catch on with the masses.

So what did people use before toilet paper? What was popular depended greatly on region, personal preference, and wealth. Rich people often used hemp, lace, or wool; poor people often would poop in rivers and clean off with water, rags, wood shavings (ouch!), leaves, hay, rocks, sand, moss, sea weed, apple husks, seashells (Demolition Man much?), ferns, and pretty much whatever else was at hand and cheap/free.

The Ancient Romans favorite wiping item, including in public restrooms, was a sponge on a stick that would sit in salt water and be placed back in the salt water when done… waiting for the next person… *shudders* (kind of brings new meaning to the saying “the wrong end of the stick”)

Ancient Greeks were a little more sanitary, using stones and pieces of clay. America’s favorite wiping item tended to be corn cobs and, later, Sears and Roebucks, Farmers Almanac, and other catalogs. The Farmers Almanac even came with a hole in it so it could be easily hung in bathrooms for just this purpose.

The 16th century French writer Francois Rabelais, in his work Gargantua and Pantagruel, notes that after pooping paper was useless, “Who his foul tail with paper wipes, shall at his ballocks leave some chips.” He instead recommended that “the neck of a goose, that is well downed” worked best.

In India and other middle eastern countries, even today, the preferred method is to wipe using nothing but your left hand and water and then, of course, wash your hand well afterward and don’t handle any food or the like with your left hand; as such, people who are left handed tend to be forced to become right handed early on in those regions.

For seaman, the common thing was to use old frayed anchor cables (seriously, how their butt’s survived, we may never know). The Inuit’s and other peoples living in frigid regions tended to go with clumps of snow to wipe with, which, other than the coldness factor, is actually one of the better options it seems compared to many other of the above methods.

Around 1857, Joseph Gayetty came up with the first commercially available toilet paper in the United States. His paper “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet” was sold in packages of flat sheets that were moistened and soaked with aloe (about 130 years ahead of his time as it wasn’t until the 1990’s that toilet paper companies started doing this again). Gayetty’s toilet paper sold for about 50 cents a pack, with 500 sheets per pack. This wasn’t terribly popular, presumably because up to this point most people got their wiping materials for free from whatever was at hand.

Around 1867, brothers Edward, Clarence, and Thomas Scott, who sold products from a push cart, started making and selling toilet paper as well. They did a bit better than Gayetty, presumably because their original toilet paper wasn’t coated with aloe and moistened, thus was cheaper; rather it was more just rolls of somewhat soft paper (sometimes with splinters). They also had the somewhat innovative idea of putting the names of the companies that were buying the toilet paper on the paper. This wasn’t initially done as a business move to help sell the paper, rather was because they were uncomfortable with having their family name literally soiled. Putting the company names, such as with the Waldorf Hotel, on the toilet paper was a huge hit with the companies they were selling to and helped them stay in business where Gayetty had failed.

As the indoor flushable toilet started to become popular, so did toilet paper. This is not surprising considering there was nothing really to grab in an indoor bathroom to wipe with, unlike outdoors where nature is at your disposal. The age old Farmers Almanac and similar such catalogs also were not well suited for this purpose as in indoor plumbing it tended to clog up the pipes.

A few notable toilet paper innovations that came along were:

  • Rolled and perforated toilet paper made by the Albany Perforating Wrapping Paper Company in 1877 and shortly after the Scott Paper company in 1879.
  • In 1935 Northern Tissue boasted a “splinter free” toilet tissue, which would seem to imply that it was somewhat common for toilet tissue to have the occasional splinter before that due to poor manufacturing techniques of the day.
  • In 1942, St. Andrew’s paper mill in Great Britain introduced two-ply toilet paper.
  • In the 1990’s several toilet paper manufacturers began offering toilet paper treated with aloe, which they called a “great innovation”… as Joseph Gayetty rolls over in his grave.

Bonus Facts:

  • 44% of people wipe from front to back
  • 42% fold the tissue after wiping
  • 33% crumple
  • 8% fold and then crumple
  • 6% wrap it around their hands
  • Johnny Carson once caused a near month long toilet paper shortage in the U.S. in December of 1973. In his show, he said, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper… There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Americans promptly went out and bought up every piece of toilet paper they could find. Supermarkets tried to ration it, but to no avail. By noon the next day, pretty much all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out. After several days of toilet paper shortages due to this hysteria, Carson went on the air to try to explain it had been a joke and apologized. But because the shelves were almost always empty of toilet paper at this time, whenever some would come in, people would buy it all and hoard it. This toilet paper shortage lasted a full three weeks.

Source: Today I found out

Posted By:Aug 5, 2015


Every ton of toilet paper produced requires about 1.75 tons of raw fiber. The amount of wood harvested annually may need to triple by 2050 to meet projected global demands for all industries—including pulp and paper.


Fifty percent of the fibers used to produce pulp for tissue goods come from recycled sources. Natural forests, plantations and tree farms supply the other 50%—and it’s often difficult to trace those virgin fibers to the specific forests they came from. The toilet paper you buy in a US grocery store, for example, could have been made with pulp from Brazil, Chile, Canada, Europe or Southeast Asia.


Deforestation in Brazil, which is driven by demand for wood and agricultural products, has declined by almost 80% since 2004. In Indonesia, meanwhile, deforestation has roughly doubled over the last decade—and most of that increase is driven by pulp and paper and palm oil production.


Average amount of toilet paper used by Americans per capita in a year. That’s roughly 130 rolls. The US is the world’s biggest buyer of toilet paper.


Brazil’s pulp and paper industry uses 5.4 million acres of planted forests, which were established on land that had been previously cleared for other purposes. And for every acre of forest used, about 1.3 acres have been restored or preserved in the country.


Sumatra is an ecological metropolis: the Indonesian island’s forests shelter 580 bird species and more than 200 mammal species, including critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants. But more than half of those forests have disappeared since 1985, and US markets have recently seen an influx of products made with fibers from Sumatran trees.


If you’re not sure where the toilet paper in your grocery store, school or hotel comes from, ask the management or call the manufacturer—and make sure they offer FSC®-certified products. FSC certification, the most rigorous such program available, ensures that forests are well managed, habitats are protected and local communities’ rights are respected.

Source: WWF 

Posted By:Jul 16, 2015

Sales in the United States of what the industry calls "luxury" rolls — anything quilted, lotioned, perfumed or ultra-soft, from two- to four-ply — climbed to $1.4 billion last year, outpacing all other kinds of toilet paper for the first time in nearly a decade, data from market research firm Euromonitor International show.

The luxury market is one-fourth the size of the standard TP market, but its prominence in Big Wipe is growing faster than many industry watchers expected. Luxury toilet paper sales have grown more than 70 percent since 2000, and they're expected to keep growing faster than all other categories every year through at least 2018.

"Higher growth is expected out of the luxury segment as the improved economy allows consumers to satisfy their desire for comfort," Euromonitor analysts wrote in a recent industry report about toilet paper's "increasing premiumisation." "While the idea of ... luxury toilet paper may be slightly odd, (its) performance suggests otherwise."

This style of bath tissue offers a far different kind of luxury than, say, a $17,000 watch: It's the same ol' stuff, just thicker, softer and more absorbent than other rolls. Though it's a little pricier, analysts said, nearly everyone can still afford it, making it a surprising barometer for how confident Americans are that they can afford a minor splurge.

Before last year, luxury toilet paper's sales growth last beat out the other rolls in 2000 and 2005, both boom years for the U.S. economy and consumer spending. The luxury toilet paper business is expected to grow 9 percent over the next five years, compared with 6 percent for the cheapest "economy" lines.

To compete for the luxury crowd, paper giants are paying heavily to advertise just how luxurious their rolls can be. To promote Cottonelle's new "CleanRipple" design, which spokesperson Bob Brand said would "be a differentiator in the premium bath tissue space," parent company Kimberly-Clark has sprung for TV ads that suggest users of its new high-end blend will be so clean they can "go commando." The firm also paid for reunited boy band New Kids on the Block to play a Cottonelle-sponsored concert last month in New York.

Those appeals to bathroom grandeur seem to be paying off. Sales of the three-ply Quilted Northern Ultra Plush, which last year rolled out improvements to its "silkiness," jumped 30 percent in the United States last year over 2013, said Anna Umphress, a spokeswoman at consumer-goods firm Georgia-Pacific, which makes Quilted Northern and Angel Soft.

The toilet paper maker is pushing more than ever to tailor its offerings more closely to American shoppers. A special line of lavender-scented Angel Soft, for instance, has been targeted to Hispanic buyers, said Vivek Joshi, vice president of Georgia-Pacific's tissue division, for one simple reason: The vast majority of papel confort sold in Mexico is scented. (For the same reason, Charmin unveiled a chamomile-scented toilet paper in August with an endorsement from Ana Patricia González, host of "¡Despierta América!," a morning show on Spanish-language network Univision.)

The struggle for toilet paper chains is convincing shoppers that pricier luxury papers aren't just flushing cash down the toilet. Though even during a recession, analysts said, they saw shoppers who were more than willing to trade up for one of the few indulgences they could afford.

"Even in a down market, people want a little bit of luxury," Umphress said. "They may not be able to take a spa vacation. But they can make their home a little bit more spa-like."

Outside of standard toilet paper, sales of luxury rolls still trail thinner, cheaper economy brands, often bought in bulk for bathrooms in places like schools, malls and gas stations. And in general, toilet paper rolls are shrinking, as paper makers attempt to recoup money lost from dropping sales on other products, like paper towels.

Luxury toilet paper is not without its challenges, of course. It doesn't exactly have the same word-of-mouth power of other high-end purchases. And because it offers mostly superficial benefits, analysts question just how long luxury toilet paper's winning streak can continue.

"Premiumisation is a tool to drive that value, but there are limits to how far that can take you," said Svetlana Uduslivaia, Euromonitor's head of tissue and hygiene. "At the end of the day, for most consumers, toilet paper is toilet paper."

Source: The Washington Post

Posted By:adminJul 1, 2015
Carta e meccanica per la carta, con il loro elevato know-how caratterizzato da innovazione e alta specializzazione, continuano a essere, insieme a numerose altre attività manifatturiere e di servizi legati a tutta la filiera (per lo più del settore metalmeccanico, ma anche di quello elettrico, elettronico e della plastica), i comparti di riferimento per l'economia lucchese, che meglio di tutti gli altri hanno saputo reagire alla crisi.

I settori cartario-cartotecnico e metalmeccanico per la carta nella nostra provincia comprendono complessivamente 120 imprese che, nell'anno 2014, hanno prodotto un fatturato superiore a 4,5 miliardi di euro e dato occupazione a 8.000 unità lavorative, rappresentando da sole oltre il 50% dell'intero fatturato e circa il 30% della forza lavoro industriale dell'intera provincia.

Il punto di forza di queste aziende resta l'alta vocazione all'esportazione che, nel 2014, ha sviluppato vendite all'estero per
1,4 miliardi di euro. Oggi, per essere competitivi, non basta più esportare solo merci, ma bisogna investire e svolgere azioni che favoriscano il radicamento sui mercati esteri. In questo loro sforzo le Pmi si stanno sempre di più organizzando con forme di aggregazione in reti d'impresa, distretti, consorzi, con l'obiettivo di migliorare i progetti di internazionalizzazione.

Questa è anche la strada percorsa da dodici imprese produttrici di macchinari all'avanguardia nelle tecnologie per la carta tissue, con 2.000 addetti, un fatturato di oltre 600 milioni di euro rivolto per il 90% alle esportazioni, che, due anni fa, hanno dato vita a Tissue Italy, il contratto di rete sostenuto fin dalla sua costituzione dalla nostra Associazione.

Tra queste protagoniste assolute di primo piano sono le aziende lucchesi.
La scelta di mettersi in rete è scaturita dalla comune volontà di queste aziende, anche concorrenti tra loro, di evidenziare e
comunicare l'eccellenza che rappresentano in questo settore per diventare punto di riferimento per il mercato globale del tissue.
La prima e principale azione sviluppata dalla rete è stata l'organizzazione dello speciale evento "It's Tissue", che ha avuto il
suo battesimo nel giugno 2013 e ha richiamato a Lucca oltre 700 operatori di tutto il mondo. La manifestazione, giunta quest'anno alla seconda edizione, si è appena conclusa ed ha confermato la sua forte attrazione, più che raddoppiando il numero di visitatori di due anni fa.
Con questa iniziativa, il distretto industriale del tissue ha avuto la capacità di unire le forze e, attraverso una formula davvero
innovativa, che va oltre il concetto di fiera tradizionale, ha dimostrato che, considerandosi parte di un comune destino e di un
comune futuro, è stato possibile affrontare meglio la crisi, perché uniti si è più forti.

Per la manifestazione "It's Tissue", la nostra città rappresenta si può dire un contenitore ideale, paragonabile a una sorta di Expo, del e nel territorio.
Infatti, per una intera settimana, e mi piace sottolinearlo con particolare evidenza, le aziende del comparto sono diventate
protagoniste di un'azione di promozione straordinaria, che ha esaltato le peculiarità della nostra provincia e, al tempo stesso, ne
ha sottolineato i valori di attrazione. In definitiva, con la presenza di numerosi visitatori provenienti da più di settanta paesi, che hanno riempito alberghi, ristoranti, visitato i nostri musei e le nostre ville, fatto acquisti nei negozi non solo del centro, le aziende hanno saputo dar vita a un modello turistico che ben si confà ad una città come la nostra, così ricca di storia, arte e cultura.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Posted By:adminApr 9, 2015

Just a few short years ago it seemed like the countries of Latin America had finally figured out their economies and entered the promised land of healthy sustainable growth, at long last escaping the boom and bust cycles that had characterized these economies for half a century. That now appears to have been an illusion; this time was not different. For the largest and most important economies of Latin America the bust has returned, and prospects for a return to the good times from the early and middle part of the last decade look dim. So what happened? While there is some variation in the economic makeup of the individual countries in the region, one similarity is their reliance on commodities and the destination of those exports. The end of the commodity "super-cycle" has hit a number of these Latin American economies hard and has exposed other weaknesses in their economies that had always existed but were hidden by the previous strong growth. Additionally, most of these commodity dependent economies did not save or invest their windfall during the good years, choosing instead to increase other spending, and now have nothing in store during the downturn.

For Argentina this new reality has been especially painful. Argentina has a long history of economic troubles, experiencing economic crises every decade or so. The last major crisis was in 2001-2002 as a rising dollar, to which the Argentinean peso had been pegged, made Argentina's exports much less competitive and led to a debt crisis that shrank the economy by close to 30%. However, after defaulting on its debt, the economy grew spectacularly with average annual growth reaching almost 9% between 2003 and 2007. The plunge in commodities prices during the global recession took Argentina's economy with it. Commodities rebounded in 2010 and 2011 in large part due to China's stimulus program, which pushed a huge amount of money into the economy and was used for investment as well as purchases of raw goods. But since then prices of commodities have been falling, causing problems for Argentina. Argentina's top three exports are soybean meal, corn and soybean oil, which account for about 25% of total exports. Soybean prices are down more than 35% over the past two years, while corn prices are lower by almost 50%. The destinations of these exports are also problematic for Argentina: Brazil, which is near recession, and a slowing China. Argentina's economy eked out a gain in 2014 of 0.5%, but this was only because imports of goods and services collapsed.

Source: RISI

Posted By:Apr 3, 2015
 Have a look at this video and see:

- The pulp and paper industry’s resources are cascaded across the sectors
- its products are recycled at world class rates
- the water it uses is reused, cleaned and returned to the source
- and it collaborates with other sectors to close even more loops

For more information on the pulp and paper industry, go to 
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