Demand for toilet paper is rising, and Wisconsin’s $13 billion paper industry could thrive (

As images of toilet paper shortages raced through social media in coronavirus panic buying, Wisconsin paper makers hustled to shore up the supply chain.

America’s Dairyland is the nation’s No. 1 paper manufacturer, cranking out $13.8 billion in products annually and employing 30,000 people. The city of Green Bay has been dubbed by some as the ‘toilet paper capitol of the world.’

The industry went into overdrive when shoppers snapped up every roll of toilet paper they could find in recent weeks, fearing they would run out if they were quarantined at home.

Georgia Pacific Corp., in Green Bay, saw its orders for household toilet paper and paper towels double, while demand for the ubiquitous products at airports, hotels and other public venues softened.

The company’s mills and distribution centers hit 120% of their normal capacity, but “you can just load and ship so fast,” it said about refilling empty store shelves with toilet paper.

The plants normally run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the company couldn’t just flip a switch and double production.

“Whatever we have is getting out in the marketplace,” said Georgia Pacific spokesman Michael Kawleski.

“Inventory levels across our system remain healthy, and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship,” the company now says on its website.
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