In many countries, people use alternative methods to toilet paper. For example, in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and India, bathrooms usually have a wide plastic dipper. There is even a special toilet with a cleansing seat made in Japan that is used as a replacement for a bidet.
We were curious to figure out what is wrong with toilet paper use in Asia and found out there are several reasons for this, both cultural and medical.
1. The plumbing is not made for paper.
In many Asian countries, water management systems are not as good as in the West. Because of the sanitary problems, it may cause, flushing toilet paper is not recommended. That’s why people there usually use water bowls, bidets, or bidet showers instead of paper. Also, to make sure that you can flush paper in the toilet, pay attention to whether there is a bin. In many cases, the bin serves to collect the toilet paper.
2. It can cause irritation.
Toilet tissue that is too hard can irritate the area, especially for people who have hemorrhoids or fissures. Using water instead is much more gentle and could be helpful to relieve pressure in the perianal area.
3. It may lead to urinary infections.
Poor wiping habits with toilet paper can lead to the spread of bacteria. Moreover, for women, wiping back to the front could increase the risk of transferring bacteria to the urethra. By using alternatives like a bidet or using a wet wipe, it’s possible to escape these issues.
4. It has cultural meaning.
In Muslim countries, washing after all instances of defecation is a part of Islamic toilet etiquette. The same rule is culturally interwoven in India too.
5. It’s not hygienic enough.
Water is considered more hygienic than tissue paper. Toilet paper doesn’t remove fecal matter thoroughly and wiping is not always enough
6. It’s not environmentally friendly.
According to expert analysis, in the USA only, 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper are used every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees. This also requires huge amounts of water, bleach, energy, and packaging materials. Using other means like a bidet, as the experts believe, is much more environmentally friendly.