Why a sustainable invention of reusable toilet cloth is making netizens uncomfortable

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At the beginning of the pandemic, many people around the world had started to hoard toilet paper; rolls had swiftly begun to disappear from supermarket shelves, leading to panic and more stockpiling.

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Now, more than two years into the pandemic, a product has gone viral in the market, which claims to reduce people’s dependency on toilet paper, while encouraging them to be more sustainable in their approach to life. This comes at a time when the climate crisis has become an urgent topic.

Netizens, however, are not convinced. They have been questioning the existence of such a product in the first place. The hullabaloo surrounds a reusable toilet cloth, which first went viral on video-sharing app TikTok, and is now making people queasy on Twitter.

The reusable toilet cloth, according to the viral TikTok video, works in a way that it completely replaces the toilet paper. You first pull a piece — like how you do with a toilet paper roll — and fold it in thirds. Then, you rinse it with water before wiping your bum. Once that is done, you fold it inwards (obviously), store in a wet bag or a basket until you are able to machine-wash it.

Then, you can re-roll it and use it!

The product in the viral video is from the company Net Zero, on whose website it appears to be sold-out. Justifying the use and purpose of reusable toilet cloth, it writes that about “9.8 million trees are cut down annually just to be flushed down the toilet”.

“Single-use toilet paper isn’t as clean as you might think. Bleached toilet paper releases toxins into the air and water, which has been shown to harm humans and wildlife.”

In the product description, the company writes about the sustainable invention as: “These washable and reusable toilet paper provides a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to clean yourself without creating waste or spending a mini fortune over time. You don’t have to practise good hygiene at the planet’s expense, this alternative fits on any standard toilet paper roll and easily re-rolls to hold its shape.”

It adds that the roll comes in a pack of 24 with “complimentary darling designs”, and that each piece measures 4.5 x 12in/11.5 x 30cm. It is priced at $24.99 or INR 1,985.

Netizens had the most amusing reaction to the product. “There’s feces in that washing machine,” one person tweeted.

Another added: “White people would use anything but installing a bidet.”

“We’re supposed to do this to save the planet, meanwhile Kylie Jenner takes a private jet to get her daily Starbucks…” a tweet read.

Check out these other interesting reactions:

Would you want to use it?

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