Toilet paper theft is one of the oldest issues plaguing the world. And while these kinds of problems might seem petty, but collectively they cost millions of extra dollars to any entity, enough reason for a proper headache. While the ultimate solution to the problem is to instill strong enough morals in society, China has found an effective way to combat the problem. Local authorities in Beijing, China have installed high-tech facial scanners to stop people from stealing toilet paper in public washrooms, a problem that has been rampant for years.
The problem was particularly bad at the four star public toilets at the Temple of Heaven, which is one of the busiest tourist attraction in the Chinese capital. Each month the authorities had to waste huge sums of money to buy thousands of rolls of paper, but that was before the face scanner came in!
The toilet paper dispensers are now equipped with high-tech facial scanning technology, which requires anyone who needs toilet paper to stand in front of the machine and have their face scanned which is temporarily stored in the database. Each person will be given a 60-cm-long sheet of toilet paper, and they can’t get another one within the next nine minutes from their previous visit.
The rather creative step has been prompted via a journalistic investigation by the Beijing Evening News, where they revealed the mass theft of toilet paper by the visitors at the Temple of Heaven, and what amount of money this was costing the Government.
The facial-scanning toilet dispensers are currently installed as a two-week trial, and its continuation depends on the feedback of the people. Already the visitors are having mixed feelings about the initiative, some applauding the ingenuity while others complaining that a 60 cm sheet is simply not enough.
But the people have arguably brought this upon themselves, so until the Government can find a better solution to the problem, they probably would have to bear the one 60 cm per 9-minute toilet paper rule!