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08th Oct 2021

Fears of toilet roll shortages again as manufacturers warn of rising costs

Charlie Herbert

warnings of toilet roll shortage

The rising price of gas is having a knock-on effect

Manufacturers are warning of a potential toilet roll shortage in the UK as a result of increasing production costs.

There are fears that the soaring price of gas may mean that firms have to reduce production of toilet roll.

Andrew Large, the director-general at the Confederation of Paper Industries, said that the group’s members are being “affected very, very severely” by the cost increases.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Large said: “They’re seeing their costs go up through the roof.

“It’s damaging their profitability and in some cases it’s causing them to manage their production rates so as not to expose themselves to the very, very highest costs.”

He called for a “temporary winter cost containment measure to try and put a lid on those costs so that these very, very important industries for British society are going to be able to continue to operate.”

Any shortage of the precious paper would hark back to the scenes first experienced in early 2020 right back at the start of the pandemic.

Supermarkets experienced shortages of toilet paper and other goods such as pasta, flour and anti-bacterial wipes, leading to empty shelves in shops and supermarkets having to ration these products.

On Thursday (October 7), there were warnings that households could end up paying more than £2,000 in bills every year because of rising wholesale gas prices.

Any drop-off in gas supplies would also have a huge impact on the food production industry – in particular pork and chicken production. This is because carbon dioxide is used to slaughter about 80 per cent of pigs and poultry.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, told Sky News at the end of last month: “My members are saying anything between five, 10 and 15 days supply (remain).

“The animals have to stay on farm. They’ll cause farmers on the farm huge animal welfare problems and British pork and British poultry will disappear off the shelves.”

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