Why is it still that way?

I understood why the shelves were empty of toilet paper over a month ago. It was a weird kneejerk zombie-apocalypse mass response to Covid-19.

But why is this shortage still happening?

  • Can’t the companies that make toilet paper keep up?
  • Can’t the hoarders realize they already have a year’s supply?
  • Don’t people realize that Covid-19 is a respiratory illness and not a gastro-intestinal virus?

I did a little research and went to the Kimberly-Clark website. They are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of toilet paper.

The newsroom section of their website had two initiatives that seem a bit out of touch:

  1. No Baby Unhugged… don’t they realize that social distancing kind of prevents hugging babies from happening, other than by their own parent?
  2. #ShareASquare… there is very little mention of the idea of toilet paper hoarders sharing toilet paper with their neighbors who might not have planned ahead. The initiative seems more focused on giving to United Way. And share just a square… why not a whole roll?

To be fair, maybe their marketing team is probably stretched like the rest of us.


Update 1: Supply chain issues and working from home are some of the reasons why. Read more.

Update 2: Americans do hoard. My son recently arrived in the USA after having lived in Italy until April 15. He said supermarkets in his city of about a million people never had any toilet paper shortage. Italians normally buy what they need for a short time period and no more.

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4 Replies to “Why is it still that way?”

  1. Paul, I have been told several times over the years that extensive regulation limits the number of paper mills active in the US. The ones that we do have tend to run at 90%+ capacity during normal times.

  2. People went potty at work. No one planned on having to stay home for months,..TP is a pretty important part of the daily routine!

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