toilet paper

Toilet Paper is Scarce Again as ‘Panic Factor' Returns

The line of departing trucks never goes away. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they leave with thousands and thousands of rolls onboard.

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In her 42 years in the toilet paper business, Lizanne Nanez with the Charmin Plant Finance Department has heard them all -- the jokes, the puns all in good fun she says. But nobody's laughing now.

"No, no! Now it's essential," Nanez said.

The line of departing trucks never goes away. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they leave with thousands and thousands of rolls onboard.

If you buy a Charmin product anywhere west of the Rockies, chances are very good that it was made right in this plant in Oxnard, California. But you might be wondering why toilet paper, including Charmin, is starting to be scarce again as stores are limiting purchases and shelves are emptying out like they did last spring.

"I have been asked that and I tell them, ‘We run 24/7 every minute of the day.’ We are breaking records in our production across the entire United States," said Nanez.

Charmin didn't divulge specific numbers, which are business secrets, but said the Oxnard plant is operating at maximum capacity. In other words, the shortages you may see at your grocery store are not starting here.

Consumer experts say they have more to do with panic buying and hoarding.

Also, the Oxnard plant is extra attentive to keeping its workers from getting exposed to the virus since that would also impact production.

There's constant testing and screening.

A video from Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Charmin brand toilet paper, shows the inside of the factory where "Bounty" paper towels are also created. The toilet paper portion is a relatively simple process where one enormous parent roll is made first.

Then, smaller rolls are cut from that single parent roll, packaged for delivery, and sent to local supermarkets.

"Everybody’s curious, 'Why can’t we get more tissue?' Heh heh. We’re doing the ultimate best we can," said Charmin Plant Line Leader Flo Adu.

And they're doing it in a big plant that's been here for half a century.

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