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In China's toiles CCTVs are installed to stop toilet paper stealing

20 March 2017, 10:51 | Winston Chapman

In China's toiles CCTVs are installed to stop toilet paper stealing

The device's software remembers recent faces and if the same a person reappears within a certain period it refuses to activate the automatic roller. File

Patrons who want some paper will now have to stand in front of the camera for three seconds, sans hats and sunglasses, to get a 60 to 70cm piece of toilet paper. They also emphasize that the system has been installed as part of a two-week trial, if people don't like it, it will be taken down. The park has retained its existing loo roll dispensers.

When the BBC visited the toilets on Monday, the machines had been turned off.

The manager of the Temple of Heaven Park told the People's Daily that the paper has been overused mainly by residents who live around the neighbourhood instead of tourists; some people intentionally take paper here because it is free of charge.

On Weibo, many netizens have mocked the system, adding that they don't think 60cm of paper would be enough for them.

Earlier this month, Chinese media reported that visitors to the Temple of Heaven park's toilets were taking excessive amounts of toilet paper, some of whom were seen stuffing their bags.

The smart toilet paper machine has prompted quite a discussion on mainland social media.

Some facilities have resorted to using hand-rolled toilet paper.

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The park said its temporary two-week trial of the new facial recognition system, however, has been successful so far with toilet paper used in its public restrooms having dropped by 20%.

There were also users who said they simply gave up using the machine after the facial recognition technology failed to work despite numerous attempts.

The unusual measure will require people to scan their face before receiving a sheet of paper.

The device's software remembers recent faces, and if the same a person reappears within a certain period, it refuses to activate the automatic roller.

"This is so ironic, the paper in public toilets is meant to serve all in society, now we have to use technology to regulate it", said another.

The park has been aware of the problem since it first started offering complementary paper back in 2007.



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