You may well be wondering why there seem to be so many price increases for paper hygiene products recently and especially why is the price of toilet paper going up? Of course, it’s not only toilet paper rolls, in fact, paper hand towels and other disposable wiping rolls are also suffering from rising prices.
On A Roll? What Is Causing These Paper Price Increases?
A few months ago, the janitorial and hygiene industry had hoped that paper prices would start to level out but unfortunately, this has not been the case and there are a few reasons behind this:
- Wholesale gas and energy prices have risen dramatically and the fact that Europe is trying to move away from buying Russian oil and natural gas affects the demands on other supplies.
- Prices for lumber and wood pulp remain high.
- Recycled tissue is in short supply as office waste has been reduced from the Covid Lockdowns
- Paper mills are under pressure with rising costs and staff shortages, and some have been forced to close.
Let’s look at these points in a little more detail and explain the impact on the paper industry.
We’ve all witnessed the rising costs of energy, fuel, gas, and electricity at home and are likely doing all we can to reduce our usage. Many of the items that we use and depend on at work and at home however use a lot of fuel and energy to produce and paper is one of those commodities.
An average household uses 10 kWh of electricity per day when producing 1 tonne or about 5000 rolls of toilet paper uses 6500 kWh!
Whilst household energy is predicted to rise by 50%, the government places a price cap on household electricity, but there is no such protection in place for industries that have already experienced electricity and gas prices rising by more than 500 % (yes 5 times!)
You can watch a video of this fascinating process in a toilet roll factory below:
Obviously, manufacturers have had to increase prices just to cover this cost and this is seen all the way through the supply chain to the end user.
The Supply Of Raw Materials For Paper Products
For pure pulp products that come from trees, it takes 24 trees to make 1 tonne of toilet paper. As was reported throughout the paper and construction industry the limited lumber production of 2020-21 resulted in timber rising by 230%.
A more recent problem is the closure of paper mills in Europe. Either timber or recycled pulp is converted by a mill into parent reels which are then used by a converting plant to manufacture smaller rolls and folded sheets of hand towels or toilet paper.
As a result of Ukrainian workers returning home to defend their country and the rising costs of energy around 25 paper mills in Poland and Italy have recently closed as their survival is not viable, this comes at a time when the supply of parent reels is difficult and leaves converters competing for their raw materials that are already at a high price.
Apart From Putting Prices Up, What Can We Do?
Well, the first point that is clear is switching to hand dryers that run on increasingly expensive electricity is not really a cost-effective move! In comparison to paper hand towels, it already costs 6.5 times per user to dry hands with electric hand dryers.
Therefore, the only other option is to reduce wastage.
Now it is more important than ever to eliminate wastage of paper products in your washroom so if you see bundles of loose towels ‘falling’ out of your dispensers or part rolls of toilet paper being left behind or worse still thrown out you need to make some changes!
Our advice is that we carry out a free-of-charge and no-obligation survey of your washrooms and the products you currently use to establish areas of waste that can be reduced.
Let’s go to war on wasted paper products and together we can reduce your spending on toilet paper, make building maintenance easier and improve the environment both inside and out!
Supply chain issues extend across the world – you can see this on the CNBC News video about the USA below: