PaperAge Magazine

North American Manufacturers of Tissue and Paper-Based Packaging Say Measures in Place to Safely Operate Production Plants

"The U.S Department of Homeland Security considers forest products as an 'essential industry' that should remain operational during this pandemic." – International Paper.

Georgia-Pacific tissue "We're quickly responding by expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period." – Georgia-Pacific.

March 24, 2020 - The COVID-19 virus and the ensuing government mandated shutdowns of specific businesses, along with the urging of social distancing, has created a great deal of doubt by the public as to the future availability of products essential to everyday life.

Certain personal care products such as toilet paper, tissue, diapers, etc. have been disappearing off store shelves as consumers fear manufacturing operations of these daily essentials will be shut down.

The editors at PaperAge put together excerpts of statements from some of the major North American manufacturers of tissue and packaging products. The over-riding theme is that with safety measures already in place, normal production — and in some cases increased production — will more than meet heightened consumer demand.


Tissue and paper-based packaging.

Statement: Together with prioritising the health and wellbeing of our employees, Cascades is adhering to the guidelines provided by government officials in Canada and the United States. Given the essential nature of our packaging and hygiene products, all of our facilities continue to operate. Cascades is working closely with its customers to ensure that their product needs, and those of their customers, are fulfilled.

Clearwater Paper

Tissue and paperboard for packaging.

Statement: The health and safety of employees is a top priority, and Clearwater Paper is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. The company is implementing a comprehensive risk mitigation plan across all facilities that includes enhanced sanitation procedures, sick leave, remote work options, travel restrictions, and visitor and meeting policies. In addition, Clearwater Paper is actively engaging with federal, state, and local government officials due to the essential and critical nature of its workforce and operations.

Clearwater Paper is also experiencing a significant increase in demand for its retail tissue products and an increase in demand for paperboard used for packaging food and pharmaceutical products. The company is focused on ensuring continuous operations to serve its customers' demand for these essential goods. Clearwater Paper's facilities are currently producing as usual.


Pulp, paper and personal care products such as adult incontinence products and diapers.

Statement: We’d like to sincerely thank our employees for their hard work during these unprecedented times. A special gratitude goes to our colleagues at our mills and facilities for continuing to produce essential goods for pulp and #paperproducts that are in high demand due to #COVID-19. Disruptions in the availability of these goods would cause significant hardships to consumers around the globe, and we appreciate their dedication in keeping our operations stable.


Consumer products, including tissue brands Angel Soft and Quilted Northern.

Statement: We're quickly responding by expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period. Our tissue manufacturing facilities are operating 24/7 and our employees are doing all they can to serve our customers and meet consumers' needs during this situation.

Graphic Packaging International

Paper-based packaging grades.

Statement from Mike Doss, President & CEO: "At Graphic Packaging International, we have implemented some dramatic actions across our business to protect our employees and supply lines. While some of these may seem a bit extreme, I thought a bit of context may be helpful.

"GPI supplies about 40% of all the food and beverage folding cartons and about 30% of all the paper cups in North America. While we don't often speak about it in these terms, we are critical to our country's ability to ensure food gets into homes.

"Our customers are ramping up their factories and we, in turn, are more committed than ever to make sure they receive the packaging they need to provide their vital products. To that end, we are doing everything we can to keep our employees healthy and safely operate our facilities."

International Paper

Paper-based packaging grades.

Statement: Protecting the health and safety of our employees and our contractors is our most important responsibility. We will continue to operate our mills and converting plants while practicing personal hygiene, social distancing, site cleaning and other measures recommended by the World health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U.S Department of Homeland Security considers forest products as an "essential industry" that should remain operational during this pandemic. International Paper products are critical components of the supply chains required to produce and deliver food, pharmaceuticals, hygiene products and emergency supplies for consumers around the world.


Consumer products and tissue brands such as: (tissue) Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott, Viva; (baby and child care) Huggies, Pull-ups; (femine care) Kotex.

Statement: We want to assure consumers that we are doing our best to ensure a steady supply of product to stores, and Kimberly-Clark is working closely with our retail partners and customers to understand their current needs. We have plans in place to address the increased demand for our products to the extent possible, including accelerating production and reallocating inventory to help meet these needs.

In addition, the health and safety of our people is our top priority, and Kimberly-Clark has taken extra steps to keep our people and their families safe and healthy. These measures include enhanced health and safety measures for our office, mill and distribution center operations, which were developed in line with guidance from global health authorities.

We will continue to make adjustments to our plans to help ensure the continued supply of our essential products.

Packaging Corporation of America

Paper-based packaging grades.

We at #PCA are closely monitoring Covid-19 developments and continue to take proactive measures to protect our employees and customers. We're committed to ensuring there is no interruption in service to our customers. We are following CDC guidelines as the health and safety of our employees, customers, and the extended members of the communities in which we operate continues to be our utmost priority.

Procter & Gamble

Consumer products and personal care brands such as: (child care) Luvs, Pampers; (tissue): Bounty, Charmin, Puffs; (feminine care): Tampax, Always, Just.

Statement: To protect employees, we have implemented remote work and social distancing measures. We're reducing the density of the employee population at our sites. We're limiting travel and holding employee meetings virtually. For our manufacturing plants and distribution centers, where work from home is not an option for most of our employees, we're taking preventive measures that allow these facilities to continue to operate safely, protecting the health and safety of our employees.

Just as we are committed to employee and workplace safety, we are equally committed to serving the needs of our consumers in a responsible way. During times like this, people count on the benefits and availability of our products given the cleaning, hygiene and health benefits many of them provide. Please know that we're working diligently to meet increased demand in this highly dynamic situation.

WestRock corrugated containers "WestRock teams are working around the clock to help manufacturers deliver the paper and packing that we all need." – WestRock.


Paper-based packaging grades.

Statement from Steve Voorhees, CEO: "WestRock teams are working around the clock to help manufacturers deliver the paper and packing that we all need. Our first priority is always the health and safety of the WestRock team, our families and our communities. We're working hard to reduce the spread of the virus by taking precautions in all of our locations and we're implementing operating practices that keep us and our families safe and healthy."

SOURCE: Company websites and social media channels