Japan group launches "toilet poems" to save paper

Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:30am EST
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Poetry in the loo can cut down on paper use too, says a Japanese group campaigning to save toilet paper as part of the country's battle against global warming.

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, a study by the research center Japan Toilet Labo showed.

"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."

Now the group is looking to have its 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."

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

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

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

<p>A cubicle is seen at the Oxford Circus lavatories as they re-open to the public in London, May 20, 2005. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>