Although the packaging appears identical to quality name brands, the fake product only has one side. “This saves unscrupulous manufacturers 50 percent on costs,” explained Dr. Joachim Moebius, researcher at the Institute of Tepeology at Beijing Abnormal University, who uncovered the fraud. “However the consequences for consumers attempting to use the wrong side of the paper are deeply unpleasant.”
Fortunately, Dr. Moebius has developed a simple method of testing for fake paper. “Because it only has half the mass, fake toilet paper is less dense, so it floats in water,” he told us. “If your toilet paper sinks, it’s safe to use.”
Fake products should be returned to the store where you bought them. Do not be deterred if they refuse to take you seriously. Should they do so, simply hold the toilet roll in the air and announce, loudly and clearly, “我的氣墊船裝滿了鱔魚 (Wǒ de qìdiànchuán zhuāngmǎn le shànyú).” This is a legal formulation asserting your rights as a consumer, and the store will be obliged to replace the goods or refund your money.
Photo: Andrew Killeen