Americans are rolling up their sleeves and wiping away toilet paper from the shelves.
Why is toilet paper out of stock?
Per The Wall Street Journal, demand for toilet paper has increased in recent weeks. In response, Procter & Gamble Co., which is the biggest U.S. manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels, has upped its production to meet the demand. Similarly, Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels have increased their production, too.
The massive sales come after a brief period where America returned to pre-pandemic levels of buying toilet paper and paper products. Americans had been stocking up to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but slightly returned to the normal level of buying toilet paper, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The delta variant may be leading to toilet paper shortage
So why are people stocking up again? The delta variant may be to blame, according to Business Insider. Americans are stockpiling products because of the surge in the variant with the fall and winter seasons right around the corner.
Toilet paper has appeared to be a hot commodity during the pandemic. Insider reported that Costco customers were complaining that stores were out of toilet paper. Costco was then reportedly limiting how much toilet paper people were allowed to buy at once.
Why do people buy so much toilet paper?
The surge to buy toilet paper actually began during the early days of the pandemic, and there were questions about whether the United States would run out of toilet paper, according to the Deseret News.
Fear may be a driving factor. If people see everyone is buying toilet paper out of worry for a coronavirus variant, then more people will flock to the stores to buy more, too. This will then create empty shelves.
“It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Paul Sheard, senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, told the Deseret News. “If people are concerned that the shelves will become empty, they will become empty.”