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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th March 2020


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Working across both the KBB and the professional cleaning & hygiene industries as I do, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone from one of those sectors made a statement about the EU’s edict on vacuum cleaners, which will prevent us from purchasing the more powerful higher wattage models. Well done to the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s Yvonne Orgill for being first out of the blocks with her entertaining ‘Soapbox’, below. Being reminded of the ridiculous EU laws on bendy bananas and cucumbers, which then made me think about the unnecessary waste created by the ban on sales of misshapen fruit and then what came to be known as the ‘butter mountain’ while much of the human race is starving, made me very cross and soon had me reaching for the chocolate!

I’ve been at a cleaning exhibition this week and the talk amongst manufacturers was of the need some years ago for vacuum cleaners to have been made more efficient rather than more powerful; indeed some confessed that perhaps the ability to increase wattage – and thus power - had made the industry lazy by not forcing designers to create equipment that was less wasteful of energy. I’m looking forward to being able to pay less for the electricity needed to deal with my cat’s hairs in future – although I don’t think it will happen soon. 

The KBB industry is one that perhaps other manufacturers should study, if they want to learn about cutting waste, for household appliance manufacturers have probably surprised even themselves in the ways they have managed to increase efficiency while cutting both power and water consumption. Everyone involved deserves to be congratulated. 

And I agree with Yvonne that by acting before the EU creates its laws, we are able to retain a degree of control over what we as consumers either enjoy or endure - and like her I call on manufacturers that haven’t yet embraced the need to reduce water consumption, to do so now. By being proactive, our industry has made a real difference to environmental concerns without consumers having to suffer too much. And as someone with hoards of old style electric lightbulbs, I can prove that I don’t like living with the results of manufacturers ignoring the inevitable!





Jan Hobbs


5th September 2014

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