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Research >> Survival >> Why is there a toilet paper shortage?
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Why is there a toilet paper shortage?

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If there’s one image that captures the panic seeping through the United States this week, it might be the empty store shelves where toilet paper usually sits.

Shoppers, preparing for the possibility that the coronavirus could keep them quarantined for weeks or months, have been snapping up every roll they can find. The more images of stockpiling that emerged on social media, the more panicky buying that ensued. The result: The household staple has been consistently out of stock, whether at big box stores or on Amazon.

In an age of instant shopping gratification and same-day delivery, the idea that something so mundane could be unavailable seemed downright scary, and an ominous sign that a basic supply chain is under stress because of the pandemic.

But is there really a toilet paper shortage?

Major retailers say toilet paper hasn’t been out of stock in stores for more than a day or two, or even a few hours. Manufacturers, paper industry executives say, are raising production to meet demand, but there is only so much capacity that they can or are willing to add.

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