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When Jangro recently announced that each of its 40 outlets had joined the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), it was just

one of many ways in which our Membership of independent janitorial suppliers could actively show its desire to clean up the cleaning business and kick out the cheats.

Too many firms have made products and stated all the good features and benefits but have, in my view, been dishonest by not providing the full picture as to what it does not do, its environmental downsides, some of the possible hazards and by implication that the product is a ‘cure all’ when it is not.

The CHSA has, for years, joined with the leading manufacturers of paper tissue, plastic refuse sacks and cotton mops and agreed specific product standards in three accreditation schemes. They cover product labelling, number of sheets and several other mandatory pieces of information. This means that all reputable manufacturers work on an even playing field and buyers get precisely what it says on the pack. There continues to be manufacturers and converters supplying ‘jumbo’ toilet rolls often containing less sheets

or smaller rolls – but how do you know if you are comparing apples with apples, if the pack simply describes it as jumbo roll?

In a world where cost is king, we must look at the real cost in use, not cost per roll. The CHSA’s Soft Tissue Accreditation Scheme ensures that the best interest of end users is served. Paper manufactures signing up to the scheme regularly undergo audits by independent inspectors. Manufacturers found to be selling products that do not consistently conform are expelled from the scheme.

Recent trends have seen roll lengths on things like jumbos, mini jumbos and centrefeed rolls decrease dramatically. Recently, Jangro members have received many customer complaints claiming that centrefeed rolls are much cheaper at the local Cash & Carry. Paying 20% less for a product that contains 25% less paper doesn’t save money, but how is the end user to know?

It’s bad enough that some manufacturers try to deceive by not putting roll lengths on products - but what the CHSA has found this year is that some manufacturer’s blatantly promoting false information. In one case it found a centrefeed roll purporting to be 150m that was in fact less than 113 meters. This was reported to Trading Standards and a prosecution is pending.

If you are a contract cleaner supplying products to your customers, you probably

26 | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry FEATURE

don’t know or care much about roll sizes, as you are too busy focusing on the cleaning. If your supplier changes the roll size and doesn’t inform you, you could be charging out for full size rolls when in fact you may be supplying a product containing 25% less paper. If this is realised by your customer you could lose the contract through no fault of your own.

Smaller roll sizes are invariably pro-rata more expensive and mean more packaging per square metre, which has an environmental effect. The only reliable way you can ensure that you and your customer are getting what you believe you are paying for is to make sure that your distributor only supplies paper products that display the CHSA Soft Tissue Accreditation.

So, having had my rant, here is my proposal:

All trade associations and business groups of manufacturers and users must insist that manufacturers individually list all their product features (positive and negative). They must illustrate all the real ‘costs in use’ and the ‘environmental costs’ against an Association measure. This data must be used on all packaging, literature, websites, advertising, sales presenters etc.

For more information on this subject or to submit your own views please visit my blog at

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