Australian paper prints blank pages to help tackle toilet paper shortage

A shopper passes empty shelves usually stocked with toilet paper in a supermarket in Melbourne on March 5.

(CNN)An Australian newspaper has printed an extra eight pages to be used as toilet paper after coronavirus fears prompted customers to bulk buy supplies, leaving some supermarket shelves bare.

In a bid to tackle the shortage, The NT News provided a practical -- if unconventional -- solution.
Australians living in the Northern Territories would have noticed on Thursday that eight pages in the paper had been left bare, except for watermarks and a cut-out guide edition.
    "Run out of loo paper? The NT News cares," the newspaper read.
    "That's why we've printed an eight-page special liftout inside, complete with handy cut lines, for you to use in an emergency."
    The editor of NT News, Matt Williams, said in an interview with the Guardian Australia that it was "certainly not a crappy edition."
    Australians are buying so much toilet paper that some supermarkets have been left with empty shelves and Kleenex has told customers not to panic. CNN saw empty shelves when visiting a supermarket in the city of Brisbane on Wednesday.
    Australia's largest supermarket announced on Wednesday that it would be limiting customers to four packs of toilet roll per transaction -- both in-store and online -- "to ensure more customers can access stock."
    Woolworths said the move was in response to "higher than usual demand."
    Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, has also urged people not to panic buy supplies.
      Meanwhile, Americans across the country have been stocking up on hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, toilet paper and other products to prepare for the spread of coronavirus.
      Long lines have accumulated at stores and retailers have become stretched in a bid to to keep up with the demand for cleaning products.