Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Manufacturers Of Liquid Soap And Sanitizer Faced A Shortage Of Dispensers

Manufacturers Of Liquid Soap And Sanitizer Faced A Shortage Of Dispensers

The growing demand for liquid soap and hand sanitizers in the context of the pandemic has led to a shortage of plastic dispensers with a pump, and soap manufacturers are forced to come up with new types of packaging, the WSJ writes.

According to Nielsen, sanitizer sales increased almost fivefold in the first half of the year. Prices for dispensers, which are mostly made in China, have jumped, and delivery times, which are usually up to five weeks, have been moved to next year, the WSJ notes.

According to the head of the health products division of Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, Frederick Dutrenit, special equipment is required for the production of dispensers, which is a barrier to entry into the industry. Reckitt, which owns the manufacturer of cleaning products Lysol, also faces a shortage of sprayers.

The American manufacturer of dispensers AptarGroup Inc. increased investment in equipment that can produce 100 pumps per minute, but the company still can not meet the demand.

Alcoholic beverage manufacturer Black Button Distilling, which began producing hand sanitizer amid the coronavirus outbreak, took a month to find a supplier of pump dispensers.

The owner of the popular US brand of sanitizer Purell Gojo Industries Inc., as well as Reckitt, began to produce their products in jars with a removable lid.

The world's largest soap manufacturer, Unilever Plc, was also forced to abandon pump dispensers and Colgate-Palmolive Co.switched to bottles with a screw-down lid.

Companies note that the pandemic has accelerated the abandonment of pump dispensers and sprayers, which use various types of plastic and are rarely recycled. They also expect that the lack of dispensers will encourage customers to reuse them and buy disinfectants in large packages.

"It's much better for the environment and much cheaper for buyers," Dutrenit said.

In the UK, some major supermarket chains are asking customers not to throw away dispensers and re-use them. However, some customers of the online store Ocado Group Plc on the company's website complain about the presence of hand soap only in large packages.

Meanwhile, the London fire and rescue service is taking part in a campaign to collect used dispensers and sprays.

"People are wondering why the fire brigade is involved, but with climate change, it's us who have to Wade through flooded streets and put out wildfires," said Simon Jakeman, who directs environmental initiatives at the brigade.