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German toilet paper makers could go down the drain due to energy crisis



MOSCOW (Sputnik) – German toilet paper makers face bankruptcy as rising energy prices upend their fuel-intensive business model, with Hakle, one of the country’s best-known brands, having filed an insolvency file in early September, reports the Financial Times.

“It was rushing us too much and we were losing too much money,” Hakle managing director Volker Jung said of the price hike, as quoted by the newspaper. “I don’t think the wave of insolvencies can be stopped unless we have a [energy price] cap.”

German manufacturers have been hit by rising transport costs, the strong dollar, as well as the closure of Nord Stream 1, the Russian gas pipeline that supplied German industry, amid disputes over EU sanctions to Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine.

Toilet paper manufacturers are among the hardest hit by the energy crisis. To produce a single 2-metre-wide “mother roll” of toilet paper at its plant in Mainz-Kostheim, Hakle’s competitor Essity needs enough gas to heat a family home for weeks in winter. So far, hygiene products have managed to find alternative sources of fuel and raise prices, with Lotus toilet rolls selling 18% more.

In addition, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has put in place a 65 billion euro ($63.5 billion) anti-inflation package. However, paper industry insiders say that might not be enough to stave off deindustrialization.

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