‘Smartphone toilet paper’ at Tokyo airport

Check the following words/expressions found in today’s text

cleanliness/ˈklenlinəs/ (noun) the process of keeping yourself and your possessions and property clean

Example: Cleanliness is a real problem in the city.

lavatory/ˈlævətri/ (noun) Formal for toilet

Example: There are many public lavatories in the city.

disinfectant / ˌdɪsɪnˈfektənt/ (noun) a chemical used to kill bacteria and make things clean.   

Example: the hospital uses a lot of disinfectant.

hygienic/haɪˈdʒiːnɪk/ (adj) clean and not likely to cause harm or illness

Example: People who work in restaurants need to be hygienic.

Revolutionise /ˌrevəˈluːʃəˌnaɪz/ (verb) to completely change thought, the way something is done or made

Example: The email revolutionised the way we communicate

Elaborate /ɪˈlæb(ə)rət/ (adj) detailed and complicated

Example: The building has a very elaborate door.

Innovative /ˈɪnəveɪtɪv/ (adj) new original or advanced

Example: an innovative young designer

‘Smartphone toilet paper’ at Tokyo airport

An airport in Japan has taken toilet cleanliness to a new level.  Tokyo’s Narita International Airport has installed “toilet paper” for smartphones in the public lavatories.

The disinfectant sheets have been paid for my a major Japanese mobile phone company, NTT DOCOMO.  They also include information about their WiFi network and a travel app.  A company YouTube video informed us that toilet seats were usually more hygienic than smartphones, saying: “There are more than five times the germs on a smartphone screen as compared to a toilet seat.”

Japan is famous worldwide for revolutionising toilets, many of which are clean, modern and boast very elaborate high-tech features such as seat warming and innovative flushing systems.

Social media users have responded with humour and disbelief.  The smartphone toilet paper has been installed in seven restrooms throughout the airport and will be there until March of next year.  DOCOMO said they wanted  to make sure, “foreign tourists could enjoy
their travel hygienically”.

Talking point

Discuss or write your thoughts on the topics

  • How hygienic are the things you touch in public places?

  • Do we need to do a lot more to avoid contact with germs?

  • Are there really more germs on a smartphone than a toilet seat?

  • How good is the smartphone toilet paper for NTT’s image?

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