A park in Beijing has turned to the latest technology to prevent visitors stealing toilet paper, reports the BBC.

Machines installed at the conveniences in Temple of Heaven park use facial recognition software.

Visitors’ faces are scanned before a fixed length of paper is dispensed.

The initiative has been considered necessary to prevent visitors routinely taking large amounts of loo roll home with them. One cleaner reported seeing members of the public stuffing it into their bags.

The park said loo roll theft has been a problem since it began offering free paper in 2007.

Six machines are currently being trialled at the attraction. Staff are on hand to explain the technology to users.

The length of loo roll dispensed is reportedly around 60 to 70cm.

Chinese citizens are apparently both incensed and amused by the situation. Some believe the machines will become an attraction in their own right.

Whether they do or not, initial figures suggest the machines are working. Paper use has apparently already gone down by 20%.

People with acute stomach problems need not panic. According to a park spokesperson, visitors with the runs won’t run out. Staff will be able to provide toilet paper on a ‘need to go’ basis.

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