How do recycled stamps help charity?

Austria's post office prints toilet paper stamps

The elephant is the measure of all things. At least in Vienna. While the two-sheep rule has been in effect in Iceland for months, the minimum corona distance is now defined by baby elephants, according to the will of the Austrian Post. From Sunday, people in public spaces will only be allowed to meet at a distance of one meter - this is the regulation with which the government wants to prevent a second lockdown at the last minute.

There is only one catch: the baby elephant is almost unknown to most of the contemporaries of the Alpine republic - despite a spectacular crossing of the high mountains by the Carthaginian general Hannibal with full-grown pack animals of this type. The new Corona special stamp should finally change that. It shows the letter writer four living beings in size comparison: a six-legged insect (one millimeter), a flying animal (one centimeter), a mouse (one decimeter) and, according to these rather unloved contemporaries, another popular figure, the baby elephant (one meter).

"Distance that connects us"

In the future, the brand should not only ensure "distance that connects us" - as the official slogan is - but also for hamster purchases. This is not only due to the graphics by Marion F├╝llerer, who previously put more prosaic motifs on stamp sheets ("100 years of the Carinthian referendum"), but also to the material used. The stamp pad is printed on real toilet paper in an elaborate process - exactly the size of a sheet of paper from a roll. In order to make the toilet paper more tear-resistant, a self-adhesive film made of natural fiber paper was laminated to the back.

If the letter is not much larger than the (new) stamp, it should fit (archive image)

If you want, you can use it to frank a priority S package. In the parlance of the Austrian Post, this is a mailing envelope that is slightly larger than an A4 sheet of paper and that costs EUR 2.75 for delivery.

However, there would still be an emergency use to which the exotic everyday material refers with discreet charm: Should toilet paper become scarce in some places due to worried stocks in the second wave of pandemics, some copies of the 300,000 edition could be used for a more profane purpose. Starting next Friday, philatelists, letter writers and hamster buyers will be allowed to queue up for the brand - but please only keep baby elephant distance.

yy / uh (dpa)