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Be wary of consumables on the web

11 August 2011

Facilities managers buying away from home paper products and plastic refuse sacks over the internet may find they are not getting what they are paying for, warns the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA).

“There is no legal requirement to state the product’s dimensions on the packaging or in the product description when sold over the internet, which means there is no protection for buyers from unscrupulous sellers,” explained Graham Fletcher, secretary of the CHSA. “It may be cheaper to buy in this way, but there is no guarantee you are getting what you are paying for and so it could easily be a false economy.”

2011 has seen a marked increase in plastic refuse sacks and away from home paper products being imported and sold via the internet. The quality of these products may be acceptable and the dimensions may be as expected, but there is no way to be certain and buyers may find the thickness, length or width has been reduced and the product itself breaks down more quickly than it should.

Graham Fletcher continued: “A number of adaptations can save the manufacturer a great deal of money; for example, shaving a little of the width off the product, reducing the number of sheets and then rolling the product a little more loosely so this is not apparent, altering the blend of constituents used in the manufacture of the refuse sacks or changing the manufacturing process. The buyer, however, may be left with an inadequate product that may well be not fit fur purpose.”

The only way buyers can be certain they are getting what they pay for is to buy from members of the CHSA’s Manufacturing Standard Accreditation Scheme covering soft tissue products, plastic refuse sacks and industrial cotton mops. Supported by all the major manufacturers in the industry, the Scheme guarantees:

· Consistency of supply: customers receive what they order
· Accurate labelling: customers get what they pay for
· Fully audited manufacturers: our standard, your guarantee

As well as auditing members, the CHSA regularly audits non-members so it is able to provide buyers with valuable information. Furthermore, when the CHSA discovers consistent deficiencies with a particular provider, it reports the company to the relevant Trading Standards.

Any cleaning contractors, facilities managers and other buyers of soft tissue products or plastic refuse sacks concerned about the quality of their purchase can call the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) for a free audit. This service, also available to distributors, is provided by Gordon Butt, the CHSA’s auditor of the Manufacturing Standard Accreditation Schemes.



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