Originally from the Czech Republic, Tomáš Tvrz, 28, has lived and worked for several years in the UK and also in Canada. He talks to TWM about his tissue buying preferences.
“ When I first thought about this I couldn’t come up with any answers apart from toilet paper and paper towel, but after giving it some thought I realised that there are many other tissue products that I use on a daily basis and don’t even notice. Besides using toilet paper and paper towel, I also use a lot of facial tissue, kitchen surface wipes, stain removers and hand towels, and also kitchen towel as a shoe polisher.
“ I’ve seen my parents using these products when I was a kid and now I just go to the grocery store and buy them almost by instinct, they’re such a big part of day-to-day life. Of course they are also very convenient. And while I’m sure I could live without shoe polishers, I still buy them every time.
“ Whether a tissue product is a brand or private label product doesn’t factor much into my buying decisions. When it comes to facial tissue I might get a bit more picky but in general I just buy cheap but reliable products. With regards to buying in bulk, at first I didn’t, but now that I live with more people in the house I find that it’s more convenient and economical to bulk-buy.
“ Unfortunately, even though I’ve always thought it was important to buy environmentally friendly products, when I’m actually grocery shopping I generally forget or just don’t buy them because of the difference in price. I still think it is extremely important to support our environment, but the economy sometimes won’t allow that. If I happen to find an environmentally friendly product that adjusts to my budget then I’d happily buy it, but in the meantime I do prefer cheap and cheerful products.
“I don’t think there’s a particular cultural use, but at the same time, everything is culturally-biased, so I guess at some point my answer would be yes. I might say it’s more in my family’s habits and preferences than cultural though. My family uses a wide variety of tissue products, but I’m not sure that’s how it works for every family back where I’m from in the Czech Republic.
“I’ve had the chance to travel and live in Canada for two years now, and while I’ve not found any big differences in terms of the availability or consumption patterns of tissue products, what I have noticed is that there’s more variety in brands and prices. However, I can still find the same kind of tissue products I use back where I come from, all I had to do was to look for the right one (language and brands can be tricky sometimes).”