Could toilet paper hoarding be stopped by putting expiration dates on them?

Yes, of course I know toilet paper does not expire. But you can’t talk common sense to some of those bandwagon hoarders who like to build up their stock whenever the slightest rumor of a shortage is whispered in their knitting circles,
Since common sense is not at work here could manufacturers put artificial “best if used by” dates on the TP? If pushed on it they could always make the claim that TP like all paper products deteriorate over time and they only want their customers to have the best quality experience when using their products.
Would is dissuade any of them if they had to look at their stockpile that had a bunch of bogus past due dates?

Surely you only need to stock-pile once. Or do they start using it if there’s no significant
armageddon type scenario\event within 12 months or something.

The falsehood would be quickly revealed.

Costco simply didn’t allow returns of TP, bottled water and other hoarding targets.

Hoarders gonna hoard. They don’t care about no stinkin’ dates!

When we bought this house, the sellers left a bunch of stuff behind, including in the food cabinets. Things like spices from 8-10 years earlier, box meals that were at least 6 years old, and even beer in the fridge dated 7 years earlier. And that’s not mentioning the crisper drawer in the fridge packed full of packets of ketchup, duck sauce, mayo, and other fast food restaurant condiments. Or the 11 garbage cans they owned. Or the dozen partially filled gasoline cans in the garden shed. Or the boxes full of electrical components that were obviously stolen from work (we knew where he worked - yes, it was stolen.) Or the 7 leaf rakes…

So dates on TP would mean nothing.

Wouldn’t expiration dates cause even more hoarding, so that people would stock up before the goods expired? Don’t say that they’d be stuck with expired goods. They’d still use them. The important thing would be to get to them first.

I have seen expiration dates printed on salt and on sugar packages, might as well put them on TP. Wouldn’t change a thing about hoarding, I am afraid.

Different type of hoarding - but I agree expiration dates wouldn’t matter in the case of toilet paper hoarding. Even assuming the “disaster hoarders” would pay attention to expiration dates, they don’t typically manage to get a year’s supply - and setting an expiration date a couple months from manufacturing date would cause problems for the manufacturers when there isn’t a disaster of some sort. And people who are stockpiling canned food and paper products in the absence of a specific event don’t typically accumulate a years worth and just leave it there while buying separately for current use- they buy a quantity of TP each month to replenish what was used from their stockpile.

If they did this then manufacturers would have to deal with returns, some customers would complain if stores tried to sell “out of date” toilet paper so stores would want to be able to return it, even if all the manufacturer did was repackage it there would still be a significant cost

How about if TP manufacturers put an expiration date on the package, and also engineered the product so it really would expire shortly after that date – literally spontaneously decompose into TP dust.

How would consumers react to that? Would they continue to buy more than they could use within its shelf life? Or would they learn to buy only what they expected to use, knowing that the excess would literally become unusable?

It would need to be a fairly short shelf life otherwise a decent stock rotation system
would circumvent it.

Considering that TP has never before had an expiration date, would anyone stocking up on it even consider looking for such a date? I’m pretty sure it would never occur to me to look. Hell, most diet soft drinks actually do have an expiration date, but the vast majority of people I know never knew that, and never look at it.

So to have an effect, you’d have to advertise these new dates quite widely, which would only point out that this is an entirely new practice. I expect that most of the hoarders would be paranoid enough to (rightly) conclude that these new expiration dates were nothing more than a scam to screw over the hoarders themselves, and so they would simply ignore them.

Salt and sugar packages do not indefinitely protect their contents from absorbing moisture from the environment. I’ve bought “close the expiration” sugar that was starting to merge into one giant clump of sugar.

Yeah, that was my thought too. And how many people would pay attention to it if they saw it?

So is this happening now? Or are we referring back to the Great TP Hoarding of Spring 2020? I really haven’t noticed any problem in buying TP anytime since maybe June 2020, even though I’m picky about what kind I buy.

Sam’s Club currently has a one package per customer limit on toilet paper and paper towels. I stopped last week to make my usual purchase and was surprised.

I do not hoard, but have plenty of storage space in my bathroom (a sauna I don’t use). Sam’s Club is a long drive for me, and their TP and paper towels are usually all I buy there.

I don’t think that many people are going to believe that after a certain date their toilet paper isn’t going to be worth shit.

I think the solution is that the government comes by once a week and give each household one roll of TP. It cannot be bought in stores. This would force conservation, control wastage, and prevent clogging of sewage treatment plants.

My prooposal may be modest, but it should work.

I see what you did there.

I read that the toilet paper shortages of 2020 were in large part caused by people who had been doing their business at work subsequently having to do it at home. Domestic toilet paper is different in roll size and quality to that typically found in offices and other places of work, and may also be distributed through different supply chains.

No, I think this would do the opposite of what you want. “Oh no, a crisis is coming, and my hoard of toilet paper is completely expired. Guess I’ll have to toss it and restock my hoard.”

Or, more likely: “An expiration date? On toilet paper? That’s ridiculous, the government is lying to control my behavior. I’ll show them, I’m gonna hoard TWICE AS MUCH and sell it on the black market.”