Real Life

Are toilet paper rolls becoming shorter?

Is it possible that toilet paper rolls are now shorter?
Are toilet paper rolls becoming shorter?

I want to complain about toilet paper rolls. First of all, I think they’re much shorter than they used to be. Do you agree? Seems I’m replacing them every week and none of us are particularly adventurous eaters. Secondly, it really irritates me how difficult it is to start them off. You end up wasting the first metre or so because you’ve had to cut through the first few layers with your fingernail. Why can’t toilet rolls have easy-tear starts? They’re short enough as it is.

I remember complaints about the length of toilet rolls coming thick and fast during my early years on Fair Go in the 1980s. We used to get the studio audience to roll them out, then measure them. Sure enough, they seemed to be getting smaller. But we couldn’t remember how much the older rolls cost, so we could never establish if there was a rip-off or not. I think toilet rolls are even shorter now, but this could be explained by the fact that most are also thicker. Either the paper itself is thicker or there are two or three layers joined together. Thickness and softness are the big selling points. This is born out by the fact the rolls themselves look the same size as ever. Back in the old days, most toilet papers were single layer. I recently bought a vintage caravan that still had some classic rolls of Purex in it. The paper would be considered unacceptably thin now. I do agree with you, though, about how difficult it is to start some rolls. Drives me nuts. But then I calm down and think: if getting a toilet roll started is my day’s biggest concern, life ain’t so bad.

Do you have a consumer question for Kevin? Email [[email protected]](mailto: [email protected]), or post to Weekly Consumer, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

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