Empty shelves in stores are a common sight as people stock up on toilet paper over COVID-19 virus concerns. Atlanta, Georgia-based paper product company Georgia-Pacific is working to keep up with the demand.

"Last week, our mills and our distribution centers managed to ship out 120% above normal capacity," said Eric Abercrombie, spokesperson for Georgia-Pacific.

GP has 14 facilities in 11 states, including one in Savannah, and makes Angel Soft and Quilted Northern brand toilet tissue.

The company had seen double the normal demand for items like toilet paper and 10 times the demand for sanitizing products.

Despite the empty shelves, Abercrombie said people shouldn’t be worried about shortages. "While the timing is really uncertain due to a number of variables in that supply chain process, I would like to just reassure that our primary focus is to do all we can to meet that consumer demand," he said. "We’re quickly responding by expediting products that optimizes our existing inventory, we’re increasing production and we’re using a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period.”

Georgia-Pacific broke down numbers on toilet paper use for the average U.S. household, which is about two people. 

  • According to the company's calculations, the average U.S. household uses 409 equivalized regular rolls per year.
  • Staying at home 24/7 would result in about a 140 percent increase compared to average daily usage.
  • A two-person household would need about nine double rolls or about five mega rolls to last two weeks.
  • A four-person household would need about 17 double rolls or nine mega rolls to last about two weeks.