Coronavirus: Toilet paper manufacturer struggles to meet ‘unprecedented demand’

Ireland’s leading producer is at capacity despite producing 50,000 rolls an hour

Ireland’s leading manufacturer of toilet paper says it is doing its best to meet demand as people stockpile as a result of the coronavirus.

Aldar Tissue, based in Finglas in Dublin, employs 22 staff. The company has its own brand, Jasmine, and also manufacturers for Aldi, SuperValu and Musgraves.

It is one of only two toilet tissue manufacturers in Ireland. The other is Dawn Paper, based in Slane, Co Meath.

The sight of shoppers panic-buying toilet paper and rows of empty shelves have become enduring images of the coronavirus pandemic, not just in Ireland but worldwide.

Aldar managing director Darren Farrell said orders from retailers were up 200 per cent since the outbreak began and the company was working seven days a week and 16 hours a day.

Currently, it is at capacity producing 50,000 rolls of toilet tissue per hour.

The company’s order book is full for the next three months and it can take no more orders.

Mr Farrell said demand was “unprecedented” worldwide. “This has never been seen before in toilet tissue.”

The company sources its raw materials from paper mills in the Middle East and Portugal. The paper that is used in toilet tissue is virgin pulp.

Mr Farrell believes the run on toilet paper is due to a number of factors. People perceive that the product is manufactured in China and that the country, where the coronavirus originated, is refusing to export it.

He said this was untrue and that most toilet paper used in Ireland was also manufactured in Ireland.

“We have taken orders in the last week for the next three months. It’s gone absolutely phenomenal. Can we keep up with demand? Obviously not. We are doing our best,” he said.

Mr Farrell, whose background is in trading paper, founded the company in 2013.

He said toilet tissue is a commodity in constant demand in the country and will never go out of fashion.

“It will always be there unless they come up with a new concept. It is a product that has 100 per cent penetration into every household in the country,” he said.