Don’t panic! We’re fighting over them at supermarkets, stealing them from hotels, and stockpiling them at home. But after visiting a toilet roll factory, JANE FRYER says there is no need to fear a shortage…

  • A look inside the factory where 30% of the nation’s toilet paper is made
  • Essity, in Manchester, churns out around 4.7million rolls a day 
  • ‘We’ve got loads and loads and loads of loo rolls,’ says ops manager Allan Hughes
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

What  could be more reassuring in the midst of the coronavirus-fuelled loo-roll shortage than to visit a toilet tissue mill on the outskirts of Manchester and marvel at the mountains of soft white toilet paper on display?

They are everywhere — bobbing down the production lines in myriad neat, white rows, before being stacked, bagged and crammed into six, 12 and 32 packs, and piled on a seemingly endless line of wooden pallets ready for dispatch.

The Daily Mail's Jane Fryer paid a visit to the Essity toilet roll factory in Manchester on Thursday to find out more about the UK's largest toilet roll producer, behind her are enough parent rolls of paper to make a million rolls

The Daily Mail’s Jane Fryer paid a visit to the Essity toilet roll factory in Manchester on Thursday to find out more about the UK’s largest toilet roll producer, behind her are enough parent rolls of paper to make a million rolls

Essity is the UK’s biggest loo-roll manufacturer, producing Cushelle, Velvet and own-brand toilet tissue for most major retailers. Indeed, it supplies more than 30 per cent of all our loo paper requirements. Every day, including Christmas, Easter and bank holidays, its six mills churn out approximately 4.7million rolls.

Another 84million are sitting nearby in giant warehouses, ready to be shipped and, right now, just like Andrex, they are supplying more than ever before.

Which is very encouraging all round. Because while we Brits have always been surprisingly particular (and, lets face it, a little peculiar) about loo paper, lately things have got rather out of hand.

Some people have started bulk buying and hoarding. Fearful they’ll be caught short (sorry) in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, they are filling their trolleys with more than anyone could ever possibly need for just one bottom.

Faced with empty supermarket shelves, others are reselling it on eBay, nicking it from pubs, churches, hospitals and, increasingly, each other.

Grown women have been spotted tussling in supermarket aisles over the last six-pack of luxury, quilted two-ply, and hotels have been forced to put up signs begging guests not to nab the toilet tissue.

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