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The Final Word by Chuck Swann
Well, let's see.... Charmin cornered the market on squeezabilty a long time ago, retired Mr. Whipple after more than two decades and today is parading red and blue bears across our North American TV screens. In case you missed this distinction, the blue bears are touting Charmin Ultra Soft and the red bears want you to buy Charmin Ultra Strong. Charmin has been a huge success among toilet paper brand names.

Its parent company, Procter & Gamble, has deep pockets. So Charmin has been able to keep bears gamboling on television and indulge in such stunts as "wiping the record books clean on National Toilet Paper Day with the World's largest Toilet Roll, measuring more than 8' high, with a diameter more than 9' wide, and weighing approximately 4,000 lbs" (this quote from Charmin web site).

The stunts keep going on for "America's #1 toilet paper".. Parenting magazine called Charmin's SitOrSquat public restroom finder app "one of the best apps for simplifying a parent's life." Then Charmin partnered with Roto-Rooter to announce that its toilet paper is used by more plumbers than any other brand--"and is clog-free or it's free."

How do you compete with such a powerful brand? The Sofidel Group, headquartered in Procari, Italy, is determined to try. Its collection of 19 mills and converting plants produce more than a million metric tonnes of various tissue products each year. It's best known tissue brand, available in several countries, is Regina. Can Sofidel go head-to-head with larger companies and brands for market share? Sofidel is making a heavy bet on what it calls "Papernet Bio Tech, the first toilet paper to use innovative Biologic Active Tissue Paper technology" (quote from a company news release).

Sofidel says that when the toilet paper makes contact with water, natural non-pathogenic microorganisms are activated and produce enzymes to eat away soil. When their work is done, the enzymes bio-degrade, leaving no residue. The company goes on to say that in about four weeks, " the sanitizing effect of Papernet's Bio Tech toilet paper helps to free pipes, septic tanks and sewers systems of dirt to help prevent blockages."

Sofidel adds that the product also helps fight unpleasant restroom odors that can turn away guests and attract insects. Time marches on--and so does the technology of toilet paper.

Chuck Swann is Senior Editor of Paperitalo Publications.

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