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Toilet paper wars


Toilet paper wars

Roxanne McCarty-O’Kane was one of the people caught without toilet paper and almost had to resort to collecting leaves.

I was having a right laugh at the memes springing up across my social media feeds having a dig at the people who are panic-buying toilet paper like there’s no tomorrow.

It has made absolutely no sense to me. Hand sanitiser, masks and tissues – I can see why these might be helpful items to have on hand. After all, they are staples for any cold or flu infection. But toilet paper?

It was all fun and games until we were down to our last roll. In a household of four with one little person who doesn’t realise she only needs a modest couple of squares to wipe her small tush. One roll isn’t going to last more than a couple of days.

I’d seen the hysteria online, but to see the completely bare shelves in the supermarket rammed home just how real our potential situation could be.

In their rush to make sure they had enough toilet paper to last for 12 months, panic buyers have left the people who need toilet paper just to get through the next week out in the wilderness.

Ah, wilderness! I began to think which leaves in the backyard would be suitable substitutes. Lillypilly and gum were the top contenders and perhaps the tiger grass at a pinch. The clock was ticking to when I had to pick the kids up from school, so there was no time to drive around to other stores. Just when I was about to resign myself to the fact I would spend my afternoon collecting leaves, an angel appeared, his trolley a shining light gleaming with relief – toilet paper! He barely made it to the shelves before a line formed and he was passing out toilet paper to eager shoppers.

I had a brief chat with the angelic bringer of the toilet paper: “People think the supply will be cut off because of exports from China are being impacted,” he said flatly.

The makers of Kleenex, Sorbent, Quilton and Woolworths toilet paper all have manufacturing plants in Australia. A statement issued by Woolworths says Kleenex are now manufacturing 24 hours, seven days a week, as are Sorbent. The makers of Quilton have tripled their normal production.

Buying limits are now being applied for toilet paper and rice. Please stop the panic-buying of toilet paper. If you buy what you need, there will be plenty to go around. I have a large property and can harvest leaves if needed, but spare a thought for the people who live in apartment complexes with little to no available foliage. We will get through this. Stay safe, stay kind and stay calm.


Roxy has been a journalist for more than a decade and joined the MWP team at the end of 2016. She is a chocolate-powered writing machine who loves to engage with the Coast community, uncover untold inspirational stories and share information that can help people.

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