Remember the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, when it started dawning on us and we thought we'd need a lot of toilet paper during quarantine? We hoarded. Yeah, we did. It's still hard to find toilet paper and there's limits on buying them at the store.
But wait, didn't they tell us early on that we'd have plenty of paper soon. A lot more was coming. The shelves would be stocked again. Yet we still ask: why no TP?
Here's why. The answer is because everyone is being asked to stay home.
Journalist Will Oremus, senior writer, OneZero, at Medium, discovered that the toilet paper business is split into two different sectors: home-use TP and business use TP.
“With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels or in airports,” he wrote.
Toilet paper maker Georgia-Pacific said that toilet paper use goes up 40% when people stay home. Add hoarding mentalities only stresses the TP makers even more.
The mills that produce business TP make different kinds of paper for our bums. And it also comes in forms that wouldn't fit on your dispenser. And if the industry switched things over to making more of the home kind, they fear another problem.
“Because toilet paper is high volume but low value, the industry runs on extreme efficiency, with mills built to work at full capacity around the clock even in normal times. That works only because demand is typically so steady. If toilet paper manufacturers spend a bunch of money now to refocus on the retail channel, they’ll face the same problem in reverse once people head back to work again,” Oremus wrote.