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How much toilet paper is stolen every year?

Nov 24, 2009

Stealing Toilet PaperA reader of our Toilet Paper Encyclopedia recently posed an interesting question by asking us “How much toilet paper is stolen every year?”.

Since I personally didn’t know the answer to this intriguing question, I went straight to Kenn Fischburg, president of and author of the Toilet Paper Encyclopedia. Here’s what the Toilet Paper King had to say:

While there is no public information available about how much toilet paper is stolen every year in the US or across the globe, manufacturers use the issue of ‘stealing’ in their marketing strategies when creating toilet paper dispensers and the inner core which the toilet paper itself is rolled on. The idea is that a person is less likely to steal the toilet paper  if they cannot use it easily at home or if it is difficult to take off of the toilet paper dispenser.

For instance, a jumbo toilet paper roll (the ones most common in public restroom) is too large to put under your sweater or in your briefcase. Plus, jumbo toilet paper cannot be used on a household toilet paper dispenser. Also, the dispensers usually have  a lock or are difficult to open, both which help prevent the stealing of toilet paper.

Stealing toilet paper is a big part of the decision process for commercial enterprises when selecting the kind of dispenser and the type of toilet paper to stock in their restrooms.

Also, storage of the TP itself can sometimes be an issue. To help with this matter, it is generally stored in a locked closet to prevent stealing from a company.

Do some customers or employees steal toilet paper? Yes. How much toilet paper is stolen overall? My most educated guess is less than 2%.

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19 Responses to “How much toilet paper is stolen every year?”

  1. Cleaning Consultant - December 9th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Using enclosed multi-roll dispensers can help with the loss of toilet tissue. Most hold a specific size paper which is different than that of household tissue.

  2. Jeff - December 16th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    The next question is how much toilet paper is used to roll houses! I saw a house on my street that looked like an entire truckload was used. At work we contract out our paper dispensers. We never have to worry about ordering and the dispensers discourage theft. The managers and custodian are the only ones with keys which keeps everything relatively safe.

  3. Samuel - March 7th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Toilet paper can be stolen nowadays..ridiculous..Btw, I tried to subscribe to your RSS feed but didn’t work (feed error), any idea why? (I’m using google chrome browser).

  4. Ken - March 16th, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Hmm…let me look into that. Sorry about the inconvenience!

  5. Camden Place - November 5th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    A few months back, at a hotel, one of my wife’s coworker’s cheeks turned bright red when several rolls of tissue paper cam tumbling out of his suitcase. Apparently, the zipper on his suitcase came loose from too much things crammed into it — toilet paper rolls included. Since that occurred just towards the end of a corporate conference when everybody was milling around in the lobby waiting for their vehicles, you can just imagine the various reaction that this elicited from folks. :)

  6. Molly - November 10th, 2010 at 6:28 am

    That’s a pretty funny story! People will take whatever isn’t chained down!

  7. new condos in north idaho - January 7th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I believe restaurants, too, suffer this fate. Well, it is not stealing per se, but something similar to it. I know of, and have seen, a couple of folks grab a whole wad of tissue or table napkins from restaurants. Obviously much more than they would actually need during their meal. Conveniently, these could later on be spotted in their own homes.

  8. John Stewart - February 21st, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    oh my god, actually a few days ago one of friend’s of mine, suggest me to steal some paper papers from department stores, and I thuught to myself, who will do that, and it is rediculous, but now I saw that many people did this, shame on them, anyway, you can find nice briefcases here if you decide to do that ….LOL

  9. The Cottages on Government Way - May 10th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    In Manila, Philippines, Starbucks does not stack table napkins on their condiments’ tables anymore. Apparently, people have been known to swipe away fistful of table napkins with every opportunity they get. So now, Starbucks customers have to make do with how much table napkin the barista hands over to them.

  10. creepfeed grinder - May 25th, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I must admit that I have stolen paper from work on more than one occassion. I don’t really view this as stealing though, it’s the same as taking post it notes, is that stealing?

  11. Molly - May 27th, 2011 at 5:18 am

    I think your work would say yes.

  12. Toyota Lease Return Los Angeles - May 31st, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Whenever using a public restroom, I notice how each of the toilet paper dispensers have locks now and didn’t before. I also remember the big change from regular sized rolls to jumbo size that were one ply and were impossible to roll. I guess stolen toilet paper was a bigger issue than I ever thought if they went to these lengths to stop it.

  13. joseph walker - July 20th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    simple, get a backpack, call manufacturers, such as, lotus,kimberly, tork and order a key pack, go to your local toilets, use the keys and put the jumbo bog roll in the back pack and tootle off home with it and stand it against the wall in bathroom, use it sparingly and it will last a month for a family not that i do it but from experience in the past when desperate for basic things. Toilet keys are universal!!!!!!

  14. Princetown at the Landings - July 26th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Does having a whole stack of table napkins from IHOP count as theft? 😉

  15. West Terrace - August 20th, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Toilet paper used to be a commodity easily accessible to everybody. Nowadays, though, it seems more like a treasured commodity. In some public restrooms in Hong Kong, I have come across tissue paper vending machines. I’m guessing that this will soon catch up to other parts of the world. I guess our abuse of the availability of tissue paper has gotten to the point wherein establishments already feel like they’re being robbed up front. The only recourse, then, is this — vending machines. The tissue is still there — you just have to pay to use some.

  16. Simon - October 3rd, 2011 at 12:30 am

    That scenario is happening here in Ayala Tower 1 in Makati, Philippines. Everytime our maintenance department refill the tissue container, some employees take them out upon leaving. So the solution they thought is buying some larger (large, really) size of toilet tissue paper, so it’ll be very obvious and will bring them same if they take out some tissues again.

    Yes the solution is very smart and safe.

  17. Molly - October 3rd, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Glad that the large rolls are working for you!

  18. Private Detectives - January 31st, 2013 at 1:07 am

    This is so revolting thing to hear. Why people need to steal toilet papers. Those are really cheap and anyone could buy them. It’s so funny to hear such and this toilet paper locker is also funny looking.

  19. Privatni Detektiv Omega - March 25th, 2014 at 5:56 am

    I became indicated your blog by using my own relation. I don’t know if it create is usually authored as a result of them when nobody have an understanding of these highly accurate about the problem. You happen to be wonderful! Thank you!

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