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Cleaning industry trends in action in 2019

13 September 2019

The world can be a very unpredictable place, but we can still see everything that has changed over the last year - what’s popular, what’s unpopular and how people’s perception around commercial cleaning is changing.

In this article, Birkin discuss the trends and issues that all cleaning companies should be aware of as we enter the second half of 2019, not only to do your part for our planet but to stay ahead of our competitors. 


 Probably the most talked about, tweeted about and protested about topic of 2019, it’s huge in every sense. Here at Birkin, we are now more than ever conscious of the need to cut down on our plastic waste that is sent to landfill. As part of our Environmental and Sustainability objectives, we have committed to reducing the number of plastic bottles, cloths and cleaning equipment that has a negative impact on our environments. 

We will continue to work with our clients on their plastic reduction requirement and work with our suppliers to source more sustainable and environmentally friendly options. 

Most recently we have worked with a major beauty brand client in the North West on sourcing a sustainable ‘bag for life’ option for picking and packing. This sees their employees place packaging in designated bags rather than all in one bag and encourages recycling across the business. This has proven a success and we are now working with the same customer to source a smaller, easily transportable bag.

‘Eco-friendly’ claims

In recent months, there have been numerous issues with suppliers claiming their products are ‘eco-friendly’ in order to improve their sustainability image. Unfortunately, this will likely not only continue but increase dramatically as businesses try to capitalize on the rising importance of environmental concerns.

It is sad to see some brands not approaching this ethically and falsely advertising their products - often they’ve simply made diluted products with water to reduce the hazard and risk rating. Or worse, they’ve made no changes and simply displayed a false ‘eco-friendly’ label on the front. Birkin are required to provide technical COSHH data and safety data sheets for all products that we use on our sites. To ensure we do not get caught out, we always ask for the technical proof for the products we are purchasing – this is something all companies should do.

Waste Management 

In the UK, we dispose of 57 million tons of rubbish every year. In 2010, it was predicted that we would have no landfill left by 2018! Although the timeline may have been wrong, there are major concerns about the management of waste. It is anticipated that waste disposal is likely to become more expensive and unpopular, leading to businesses wanting to source a more careful method.

Robotic Innovation

2019 has seen cleaning shows take the lead in marketing the presence of robotic machines in the cleaning industry. It is anticipated that, as the economy grows, so will the need for fewer labour-intensive techniques. The introduction of automated machinery may be cost heavy at first, but in the long term will see a great reduction in employment costs.

Birkin has been actively trialling an automated floor cleaning machine at an Educational client in London. The challenges that can come from robotics are battery life, reliability and a potential negative impact on employees, therefore Birkin is continuing our trials before committing.

This blog was written by Birkin, a commercial cleaning company based in London and the South East.