Trash Liner War: Has it Really Come to This?

It feels like a constant battle with trash can liners and meeting specifications.  We respond to a fair number of bids with specifications which are all over the board for can liners.  Some indicate Heavy Duty, Extra Heavy-Duty, Tough, with no real minimum standards.  We recently received a bid that not only contained very specific standards but also included the following content so we wanted to share.  This may be harsh but definitely gets to the point, so you may want to consider including some of this language in your product specifications or be very specific about your requirements.  Trash can liners are an easy product to cheat on and it really does feel like it has become a war:

Here are some examples:

“Lowest bidders are required to submit (ship) a sample of two (2) full, unopened and unaltered cartons of each liner for which they are among the lowest bidders.  Manufacturer and/or vendor ratings or descriptions such as: HEAVY DUTY, EXTRA HEAVY-DUTY, EXTRA-EXTRA HEAVY, TOUGH, SUPER-DUPER-TOUGH, etc., etc., etc. are not governed by real number minimum standards and therefore will be completely ignored.  Only real numbers for weight in pounds and thickness in microns will be recognized.”

In addition to the above statement, they also included an addendum that required a signature notifying us of the following:

“There will be severe penalties for suppliers/vendors of trash can liners that do not meet or exceed the minimum specifications required in the bid.  Prior to paying the invoice for trash can liners, we will weigh the contents of random cases of the trash can liners delivered and if any of the selected fail to meet the minimum specifications of the bid, we may reject some or all of the order.  We will determine the weight of the box containing the liners.  The weight of the box will be added to the minimum weight specified for that particular liner and the sum of the two weights will establish the base weight for that item number.  Cases that weigh less than the BASE WEIGHT will remain unopened and marked as underweight.  Suppliers will be responsible for all costs involved in correcting this problem including: 1) return shipping and handling; 2) labor to prepare material for shipping and 3) shipping and handling for replacement trash can liners.”

Unfortunately there are many manufacturers out there that skimp on materials and run cheater product.  Frankly we are glad this may be coming to a head, we spend a lot of time as a team battling these cheater liners.   So the point of sharing this information with you is to 1) make sure you are comparing apples to apples, 2) buy from companies that you know you can trust (distributor and manufacturer), 3) be clear in your specifications, for example avoid using verbiage like HEAVY DUTY or SUPER-DUPER-TOUGH and include specific thickness like 16 micron and 4) ask for case weights.  If you see really low pricing on trash can liners, there is probably a reason and you will not be happy.  So help us end this war once and for all!