Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Costco Requests Customers Call 24-Hour Phone Number to Buy

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By Scott Arditti

Some private-label toilet paper sold at Costco will soon require buyers to call a 24-hour phone number to buy supplies, raising fears of price increases at the nation’s largest wholesale club.

The company has placed buy-now buy-next-day limits on some bathroom supplies due to higher-than-normal demand tied to a specific COVID-based polymer, says NBC News. The exact product remained unclear.

The policy may be annoying to some shoppers, but unlikely to have an overall impact.

“At Costco it’s very clear that the purpose of the call-in lines is to get back to the customers who called the lines and try to make sure their order is ordered. It’s not to supply more toilet paper,” says Jeff Coviello, senior vice president of research and commercialization at Starcompliant. “The COVID side comes in as a pre-determined level.”

Studies have found a link between high levels of the chemical and respiratory ailments, both short- and long-term. Because of that, it’s been banned in Europe and even the U.S. for use in products like paints, polishes and adhesives.

About 90% of the water coming out of the faucet is likely made up of COVID-based products, says Coviello.

The wastewater is then treated at the end of the process and gets sent back into the environment. The rest of the chemicals used to get the wastewater from the treatment plant to the pail go into the oceans for use in fish bait.

Consumers shouldn’t worry about the cause of their contamination because COVID has been around for about 100 years, Coviello says. The concern arose recently in the public’s mind because of consumer awareness about how food is produced and consumer knowledge about the merits of bio-engineering and cloning.

“People become concerned about what their environment is exposed to that may not seem so bad,” Coviello says. “It’s a tremendously big problem.”

Research indicates there is no direct health risk from the chemical in store items.

“It’s just not the same as people worrying that COVID is in their fruits and vegetables,” Coviello says.

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