The era of one-ply toilet paper in Duke restrooms is coming to the end of its roll.
Duke is scheduled to begin switching out toilet paper products during Spring break, said Albert Scott, director of grounds, housekeeping, sanitation and recycling services. The University will finish the rest of its stockpile of one-ply paper and then replace it with a softer two-ply product. Numerous student have complained about the quality of the paper Duke currently uses, Scott noted.
“The move is being made because the current tissue is one-ply tissue,” Scott said. “Really, with the one-ply tissue, most people would have to double that up in order to use it.”
In addition to cost, a number of factors are taken into account when determining which toilet paper to purchase, Scott said. Chief among them are quality of texture and softness of the paper. Environmentally friendly products are also given preference.
Duke currently purchases its toilet paper from Brame Specialty Company Inc. and Diamond Paper Company, both of which are in the same price range as most other comparable brands, Scott said.
Scott said he had no explanation for why one-ply paper was being used and acknowledged the need for a change.
“I just know, where I came from, we would never consider one-ply tissue,” Scott said. “In terms of texture and in terms of feel and in terms of usability, very few people use one-ply tissue.”
Several students noted their dissatisfaction with the toilet paper currently used.
“[The toilet paper] gives more than it takes,” freshman Ethan Chang said.
Other students noted that the comfort of the toilet paper should not be the only variable involved.
“I would like my toilet paper to be of good quality,” junior Joi McLaughlin said. “I approve of them trying to fix the problem as long as it’s good for the environment and not harmful in any other way.”
Still, some students have not noticed any problems with the current one-ply paper.
“I don’t think it’s that bad,” freshman William Kim said. “Sometimes [Housing, Dining and Residence Life] is not good at replacing toilet paper. But… I don’t find any difficulties using it. I think it’s fine.”
Scott says housekeeping is doing its best to replace all one-ply toilet paper as soon as possible.
“Students—and everyone—really deserve a quality tissue,” Scott said. “I wish I could change it out a lot quicker.”