The China Post staff
Over 90 percent of bathroom tissue products sold in Taiwan contain less sheets than stated in their packaging, with some missing as many as 43 sheets, claimed the Consumers’ Foundation (CF) yesterday. A spot check conducted by the CF on 11 different brands revealed that only one of them contained an average of two to four sheets extra per package. The other ten all came short of the number advertised. The brand with the greatest shortage was supermarket chain Wellcome’s “Flat tissues,” with five out of six packages — or 80 percent — missing a total of 189 sheets, or an average of 32 sheets. One of them was 43 sheets short of the total count. According to regulations set by Chinese National Standards (CNS), every packet of bathroom tissue sold in the country is allowed to contain up to 3 percent less than marked on the packaging, which translates to nine sheets per every 320 count package. Other brands that also received low marks by the CF were Andante Toilet Tissues and Scott. Out of the six random Andante packages inspected by the CF, one was missing 10 sheets and another 16. One of the six Scott packages was missing 15 sheets. Watsons, Klear, Kleenex, and Tender brands of bathroom tissues were also blacklisted by the CF for selling packages that contained less sheets than the legally allowed amount. CF Chairman Cheng Jen-hung accused the companies of the sub-standard products of cheating the public by “surreptitiously cutting down on material” and demanded that they take their packages off the shelves immediately. He also called for them to be subjected to a thorough and fair investigation. In response to CF’s claims, Wellcome Taiwan Co., the parent company of Wellcome supermarkets, told the United Evening News that it would follow-up on the issue brought up by the CF and conduct their own internal investigation. If it found out “a sizable” difference in content as the CF claimed, it would indeed take its products off the selves and ask its vendor for compensation. In addition, [Hui Kang] said it would voluntarily subject any new such products to inspection to make sure they meet minimum consumer standards. Andante Toilet Tissues’ manufacturer, Cheng Loong Corp., also told the local newspaper it would conduct an internal investigation to find out if there was in fact a leak in its quality standards inspection and said it would set up an immediate plan of action in order to strengthen quality check procedures. Scott’s manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Taiwan, said for its part that their machines produce six sheets per revolution, and it takes them 54 revolutions to complete each package for a 324 total count, but because if minor mechanical glitches and wind-blowing, it was “inevitable” that some sealed packages might contain a lesser amount than the one stipulated.
However, the fact that the CF found one package missing 15 sheets was most likely an exception, it continued. Still, the company said it would also strengthen its quality inspection processes and instruct its employees to make sure that any count shortages fall within the legally allowed limits.