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Jul 24, 2020
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While toilet paper has mostly returned to the shelves since the panic buying of the early pandemic days in March, disinfectant wipes are still in short supply.
Procter & Gamble's Pennsylvania paper manufacturing plant has not experienced a raw material shortage because its pulp comes mainly from North America and Latin America.
But Seventh Generation, a leading manufacturer in green cleaning and hygiene products, has seen supply chain disruptions for disinfectant wipes due to competition with PPE manufacturers for the same raw materials.

While toilet paper has mostly returned to the shelves since the panic buying of the early pandemic days in March, disinfectant wipes are still in short supply.

Just last week, CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer complained on Twitter about not being able to find Lysol products in New York. Demand for both toilet paper and cleaning products remain high, but what can explain the discrepancy in their levels of returning supply?


Toilet paper doesn't face a raw material shortage
Though shoppers were emptying shelves of toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic, increasing supply was a relatively straightforward process. By April, Procter & Gamble's Mehoopany, Pennsylvania paper division plant was "making record amounts of Charmin and Bounty, more than we've ever made in the history of P&G," said Jose de los Rios, the site's environmental leader. The Mehoopany plant, which covers nearly 2 million square feet, is P&G's largest facility in the U.S. and serves approximately half of the U.S. population, focusing mostly in the Northeast.

The Mehoopany plant did not face raw material constraints because the company gets most of its pulp from North America and Latin America. Furthermore, the rise in demand for tissue was balanced out by the drop in demand for other pulp-derived products, such as office paper, due to widespread work-from-home policies.

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