NEW YORK – Travelers passing through Tokyo’s Narita International Airport have spotted an unusual offering in bathroom stalls: toilet paper for smartphones.
The airport’s smartphone wipe dispensers, available in 86 stalls throughout the arrival hall, hang next to traditional toilet paper dispensers.
— CNN (@CNN) January 9, 2017
The move encourages people to take a moment to disinfect their screens.
“Welcome to Japan,” reads each individual wipe.
Although the initiative rolled out in December, surprised travelers continue to share photos and reactions on Twitter.
Only in Japan 'toilet paper for smartphones'
Don't forget to wipe before you swipe! pic.twitter.com/mHwDf0nhoP
— Iracheno (@Iracheno) December 28, 2016
— Manga University (@mangauniversity) January 2, 2017
Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo, the company behind the effort, unveiled the wipes in a video about bathroom hygiene.
It also included tips on how to squat using a Japanese toilet and how to use a bidet.
On its YouTube page, NTT Docomo cited research smartphone screens carry five times the amount of germs than toilet seats.
— Carolina Parisi LUX (@carolaparisi72) January 4, 2017
Toilet seats might carry three types of bacterias, but phones can carry between 10 to 12 types – including E.coli and fecal bacteria, according to a BuzzFeed report.
The wipes can be flushed down the toilet after use.
The dispensers will stay up until March 15.