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Paris declares war on biodegradable toilet roll

Ben McPartland · 17 Jul 2014, 10:53

Published: 17 Jul 2014 10:53 GMT+02:00

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Paris Town Hall’s cleanliness tsar Mao Peninou has told Lotus, the company that created the biodegradable toilet roll tube amid much fanfare three years ago, exactly what he thinks of the invention.

Peninou says the small cylinder is anything but ecological and is causing problems in the city’s sanitation system and is leading Parisians to develop some bad habits, Le Parisien newspaper reports.

“This is a glaring example of a technological innovation presented as something positive, when it is not at all,” said Peninou, who believes it contravenes the Health Code and local sanitation regulations.

On its website Lotus claims its Aqua tube is the only one that can be thrown down the toilet. “Don’t try this with any other toilet roll,” the company claims.

“Toilet roll empty? From now on, there's no need to get flushed with all those empty toilet rolls lying around!," the website says.

“Once flushed, the Aqua Tube will disappear down the toilet and will start to disintegrate immediately. Now there's a convenient solution to keep things rolling!”

But the Paris elected official is anything but convinced. His gripe against the tube, that he himself admits using, apparently stems from a recent visit to the sewers below Paris streets.

“I understand the practical side. But even if the roll decomposes it is dirtying the water and clogging up water treatment plants,” he said, before issuing a reminder that treating wastewater sets Paris back €212 million each year.

“Anything that encourages people to throw things in the toilet bowl is bad,” he adds. “If we put this in the right bin it can be recycled.”

Story continues below…

SCA Hygiene Products, the parent company of the Lotus brand was preparing its response to Peninou’s attack, but a spokesperson disagreed that the biodegradable tube has a negative impact on the environment.

Although no independent study has been carried out on the biodegradable rolls, on its website Lotus states: “Using the methodology that was developed by an external expert group, we conducted a full Lifecycle Analysis.  Results confirm that there is no difference with regard to the environmental impact.”

But the company also advises people to recycle the tube if they are already doing so.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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