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Manchester toilet roll maker features in BBC Two documentary

BBC Two’s Inside the Factory on 24 July followed the fascinating 940-mile journey of toilet paper from forests in Sweden to a factory in Manchester, which produces 700,000 rolls a day.

Presenter Gregg Wallace followed the full product journey at the 27 acre mill in Manchester, which is operated by Swedish company, Essity.

The process starts with dried wood pulp produced from forestry offcuts in Sweden, which is diluted with water and then blended with another pulp to create the right level of strength and softness.

The thousands of cubic metres of water used in the process is re-used 30 times before being recycled for multiple uses elsewhere in the facility.

To remove the water, the pulp is sent to a mammoth 138 tonne, 12 metre high spinning drum called ‘The Yankee’, heated to 170ºC and then scraped into a single continuous sheet by a 5.7 metre razor blade.

While travelling at 40mph, a scanner measures the weight and moisture of the paper sheet and automatically makes adjustments to the system to maintain the correct consistency.

The sheet is converted into 70,000-metre ‘mother reels’ that are combined to create a two-ply paper that can then be embossed, perforated, wound around cardboard cores and then finally cut down to size.

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Jim Lang, Mill Manager, said:

"It was great to have Gregg Wallace and the BBC Two production team filming with us because it gives us the opportunity to show the nation how Manchester continues to produce outstanding quality goods and household names.

"We’re very proud of our Mancunian heritage and that’s reflected throughout our mill.”

The one-hour documentary is available on BBC iPlayer until the end of August.

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