Brexit uncertainty forces European company to stockpile toilet paper
German-owned paper company Wepa has hoarded 600 tons of toilet paper in its UK warehouses to avoid disruption of supplies in the case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Wepa has also opted to charter ship deliveries for importing raw materials into Britain instead of using trucks, according to the company’s managing director Mike Docker, as quoted by the BBC.
The tissue-maker reportedly owns production facilities in Bridgend, in South Wales. Wepa is said to lease extra premises of nearly 20,000 kilometers to store finished product and raw material. The firm also shipped in extra cardboard and tissue.
Wepa is one of major suppliers of toilet paper and kitchen rolls that are used by the biggest retailers, including Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, for their own-brand products.
Earlier this month, David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, the country’s fourth largest chain of supermarkets, said the retailer had seen an increasing demand for toilet paper over recent months. According to Potts, the high demand may be caused by rising uncertainties over the UK quitting the European Union by the end of March.
The UK, which is expected to withdraw the bloc on March 29, is currently trying to negotiate a deferral of the deadline to June 30.
Last week, the House of Commons voted to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the EU for an extension. The European Commission said that the extension must be backed by all the members of the bloc.
In a situation where there is no negotiated plan to allow the EU and the UK to continue trading smoothly, British businesses may face delays to goods moving in and out of the country due to probable customs checks and changes to border rules.
The UK’s annual consumption of toilet paper totals some 1.3 million tons with 1.1 million of which are imported either in finished form or as components, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries.
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