Shoppers have reported empty aisles of baby wipes and paper towels – even condoms.
One shopper in Kogarah sent news.com.au photos of his local Woolworths with toilet paper, baby wipes, tissues and paper towel cleared out.
Meanwhile, a woman has shared a picture of a store sold out of Durex condoms.
The woman shared the photo to the Ryde District Mums Facebook page, asking what was going on.
Across the country people have reported empty shelves of toilet roll as people stock up amid coronavirus panic.
Others are stocking up anyway in case supermarkets run out.
“I bought a box of baby wipes for my grandson just in case they sell out and the kids can’t get any. Panic buying causing panic buying … the irony,” one woman wrote on Twitter.
Another person wrote they would soon be making the switch to baby wipes because the local stores have run out of toilet paper.
But people are being reminded not to substitute toilet paper for baby wipes because they’re not flushable.
Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly has warned that people should absolutely not be flushing them down the toilet.
“It’s understandable that people are concerned about the reported shortage of toilet paper in some areas. But as media has been reporting, local manufacturers have already increased production,” Mr Daly told news.com.au.
“Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down quickly in the sewer system. Flushing wipes down the toilet, whether labelled ‘flushable’ or not, can cause problems with your plumbing and can contribute to blocked sewers.
“These can be very expensive problems to fix – bills for households can be in the thousands and it’s estimated that Australian water authorities spend $15m each year removing wipes from pipes and pumps. On top of this is the environmental cost.”
Instead, Mr Daly said if you don’t have any toilet paper you should reach for washable cloth baby wipes instead.
Nappies, baby wipes, baby shampoo, baby formula pic.twitter.com/nTdEGRWgDF
— Shane Bazzi (@shanebazzi) March 4, 2020
Panicked shoppers have been caught on video pushing and shoving one another to get their hands on toilet paper packs.
Footage captured inside Woolworths Revesby, in Sydney’s southwest, shows customers scrambling to grab packs of toilet paper about 7am on Wednesday.
To make it “fair”, Woolworths has restricted customers to four packs per person.
A spokesperson said it was to ensure “more customers have access to the products” and would not only be applied in-store, but online too.
“It will help shore up stock levels as suppliers ramp up local production and deliveries in response to higher than usual demand,” the spokesperson said.
“Our teams are continuing to work hard on restocking stores with long-life food and groceries from our distribution centres.”