Nearly 100,000 face masks have been shredded by Haringey Council’s Trading Standards team after they were confiscated from a Tottenham firm.
UK Packaging Supplies Ltd imported the KN95 masks directly from China as there was a high demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the start of the pandemic.
But the firm – which does not normally sell these types of masks – did not carry out any checks to see if they were safe, or complied with UK regulations, before buying 99,980 and shipping them unsighted.
Between April and May 2020, the council’s Trading Standards received several complaints that the company, based in Brantwood Road, Tottenham, was selling non-compliant KN95 face masks without the relevant documents such as test reports and certificates.
Without the correct documentation these types of PPE masks cannot be legally sold in the UK.
Following this, a suspension notice was served on the firm prohibiting the company from supplying the KN95 face masks.
The company was given the opportunity to return the masks to the Chinese firm they bought them from, or the council would dispose of them.
But on 4 February this year, the company surrendered the entire consignment of KN95 for destruction.
Cllr Matt White, Cabinet Member for Planning and Corporate Services, at Haringey Council, said: “It is crucial that any kind of personal protective equipment such as face masks come with the correct documentation and the firm selling them has carried out all checks to make sure they are safe.
“Our Trading Standards team are determined to protect the interests of the local community and will take strong action to ensure all companies are following the correct protocol.
“It is essential that any face coverings being sold during the coronavirus pandemic comply with all the regulations so we can have the confidence in the protection they are able to provide.”