News-napkins

 

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A common feature of Sri Lankan restaurants; catch up on recent headlines while waiting for the meal to arrive, and then clean off with your “read it” pile afterwards. The small amounts of black ink-residue that comes off of the paper is worth the active participation in this great recycling/repurposing.  Could this be adopted to work in developed contexts, or would most people never willingly wipe their hands with a newspaper instead of a napkin? If it were discovered that there were a modification to newspaper ink that prevented it from coming off the paper, would restaurants adopt news-napkins? Far more distinguishing/novel than using regular old recycled paper napkins, plus the bonus of that news/information packaged into your dining experience.

Myanmar does it their way; if one looks closely enough at the roll of what Western folks would call toilet paper on the table in this street-side restaurant one can see a small patch of the tell-tale circles of Burmese print that has found its way in to the mix. Not as content-rich as Lanka’s news-napkins, but also comes without the black residue.
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