The cleaning product supply chain increased production, worked around the clock to meet increased demand and provided crucial information on proper product use as the coronavirus pandemic drastically challenged the national landscape, said the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) in comments to a Senate panel examining manufacturers’ response to COVID-19.
In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, ACI said that “the proper use of cleaning products has been crucial to public health” and remain an “essential part of daily hygiene practices in home, healthcare and commercial settings nationwide.”
“While the crisis has brought terrible consequences for individuals and communities everywhere, it has also reinforced the value and need for the cleaning products industry to work toward our long-term, ultimate goals of helping people lead healthier, happier lives and building a vibrant and sustainable future,” wrote Douglas Troutman, ACI General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.
Troutman said there were a number of important lessons for the entire supply chain as demand sharply outpaced the ability to distribute enough necessary products and chemistries in the pandemic’s initial phases.
“First and foremost, protections needed to be put in place to safeguard employees’ health and safety, while production accelerated and was kept running 24/7 to keep pace with demand,” Troutman said. “Manufacturers had to prioritize for critical needs and shift production lines and staff resources. Supply chains were stretched, leading to the need to overcome major raw material, ingredient, packaging and pump shortages as other industries became overwhelmed by the demand or limited in production capacity due to the pandemic’s restrictions.
“Cleaning product companies ramped up production, but even with this massive mobilization, people across the U.S. experienced product shortages and empty shelves in shops and supermarkets. Companies had to be creative in finding solutions to problems they never previously faced.”
A new report released by ACI, Rising to an Unprecedented Challenge, outlines the actions industry leaders took in response to the increased demand for cleaning and hand hygiene products and the urgent need to reduce the spread of the virus in hospitals, public transit systems and other public spaces.
To help business across the country navigate a successful re-opening, ACI rolled out new resources through its Healthy Returns program. Adapted from public health recommendations, the free online toolkit provides guidance and checklists containing easy to understand reminders on hygiene and cleaning that are crucial to keeping the workplace healthy and safe.
Troutman said the goal of ACI and its members remains getting cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products critical to combatting the novel coronavirus “to market and increasing the supply of ingredients to accomplish this goal.”
The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.