You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper in the toilet in French Polynesia, but you may wonder if this is true. After all, it’s just a big old bowl with water and some sort of magical flushing device on top. It can handle TP,right?
If you’re thinking about going to visit French Polynesia and wondering if you can flush toilet paper in the restrooms there or not, then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out!
What Is the Big Deal with Flushing Toilet Paper?
Toilet paper is generally made of either paper or a combination of paper and cardboard. Toilet paper is specifically designed to wipe away solid waste and clean your delicate areas. Toilet paper dissolves in water and can often be flushed.
This requires an advanced system of drains and wastewater processing facilities though. These wastewater processing facilities make sure that the dirty water doesn’t get into the local rivers as this can cause a lot of problems. If these facilities have to process toilet paper as well, they have to be more advanced and this requires a big investment.
Not every country or city has this advanced drainage system. This might be because the country is quite large or because they decided to invest the funds somewhere else.
You will mainly find these plumbing systems in America, Asia and Europe. More rural areas can have septic systems that process the wastewater locally.
In some areas of the world, the width of the drains is not big enough and toilet paper would clog them. Wastewater would back up and make the toilet overflow. This can result in wastewater all over the house.
Next to bad smells, it also results in a dirty house. When those pieces of toilet paper break down, they create a very thick, sludgy substance that winds up jamming your household pipes and the local sewage systems. When these materials enter the sewer system, they cause major problems.
In some instances, it can be removed by flushing a lot but this is not always the case. A plumber will have to come out to clear the drains with a water jetter or an auger.
This costs quite a lot of money. If there is a big clog, it might be needed to dig up the drain and open it up. This is a lot of work and can result in a big expense.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper in French Polynesia?
The short answer is “in some parts of it”. The plumbing system in these locations is able to process toilet paper as they have a septic tank. You should find toilet paper next to the toilet and you can use it as you normally would.
In more rural areas this might not be the case though and you have to dispose of the toilet paper in a bin. It is a good idea to ask if you are not sure if you can flush.
Some countries such as Dubai use a bidet. In other countries such as Greece, you have to throw the toilet paper in a bin.
Just make sure that you don’t use paper that is too cheap. You can test this by dipping it in water three times and see if the toilet paper dissolves. If it doesn’t, it can indicate that you should get other toilet paper as it might clog your drains.
You can’t flush wet wipes or paper towels though as these don’t dissolve in the toilet drains and can cause clogs. A plumber might have to remove these with heavy equipment.
The same is true in other countries as toilet systems are not designed to flush these items. For this reason, you should only flush toilet paper and no other types of paper. This is the case for any toilet though as they are not designed to deal with items that don’t dissolve in water.
Plumbers often get called out to fix clogs that have been caused by wet wipes. This can create a lot of damage so this should be avoided at all costs. You also shouldn’t flush food scraps, cooking oils or other waste. These should go in the bin.
Some people have a septic system in this city but you should be able to flush toilet paper anyway. If it isn’t allowed, you should see a sign indicating this.
Do they use toilet paper in French Polynesia?
Yes, they use toilet paper in French Polynesia. You should find it in every toilet stall. You can ask for more if it has run out. It is the same quality that you are used to at home so you will have a similar experience.
The toilet paper might be more expensive than you find on the mainland as it has to be imported by boat. In most stores, you should find toilet paper though. The quality might differ so make sure to check what you will get before buying the toilet paper.
You can also ask the reception of your hotel to get more toilet paper if needed.
French Polynesia (often simply known as French Polynesia or the Tahitian Archipelago) is an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific.
The majority of the population lives on Tahiti, which is home to over 75% of the island’s population. The capital and largest city are Papeete, followed by Bora-Bora and Huahine.
This island has wonderful nature and beaches. You will be amazed by the things that you will see while you are there.
It is important to check if you can flush toilet paper while you are there. In the big hotels, it is often not a problem but in more remote restaurants, you might have to ask to see if you can flush toilet paper. You don’t want to clog their toilets while you are there!