A Chinese factory was found bleaching and “recycling” used napkins and selling them as branded tissues.

The factory allegedly collected and whitened used napkins, paper and tissues in China’s Jiangsu province. The materials were seen scattered all over the floor in a courtyard at their premises. Worms and insects could also be found at the site, Chinese media reported.

chinese factory napkins tissues
Photo: chinapaper.net.

Chinese media reported that factory owners decided to counterfeit the tissue brand after they realised it commanded a large share of the market. The factory operated secretly, with all production and transportation activities taking place during the night.

It reportedly sold 300 tonnes of fake tissues worth more than RMB2 million over the past two years.

Police said the waste paper was only bleached to give a white colour but not properly disinfected. The finished tissues were then cut and packed as counterfeit products.

They started investigations after receiving a tip-off from a local tissue manufacturing company. The firm said its products might have been faked. Law enforcement officials located the factory in July and arrested its owners.

Photo: miexie.com.

Experts warned that these fraudulent tissues contained a large amount of bacteria and toxic materials, which could enter the human body by penetrating through the skin. They added that the products might contain carcinogenic materials and could potentially undermine the human immune system.

Chinese authorities are still investigating the case.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).