A selection of confiscated counterfeit goods were incinerated, in a display of Hertfordshire Trading Standards' “zero tolerance” approach to knock-off merchandise.

The three hoodies, jeans and trainers burned on Friday were just a sample of the 25,000 fake goods  seized in Hertfordshire last year.

When possible, the county council will remove the labels from fake goods and donate them to a charity. In cases, where this is not possible, they are destroyed by incineration to ensure they cannot be sold on.

Mike MacGregor, Trading Standards community protection manager, said: “The jacket for example was covered in logos, we can't de-brand that so it has to be incinerated.

“Energy from the incineration is put back into the National Grid, and the ashes are reused in bricks and tarmac.”

As well as counterfeit clothes, Trading Standards has also confiscated CDs, DVDs and jewellery.
Mr MacGregor added: “The cases can be recycled and the actual CDs are ground down and used as polycarbonate in street lights.

“We've certainly seen a rise in the amount of counterfeit jewellery, and when we tested it for nickel, which is a skin irritant, we found it in a very large amount of confiscated jewellery.”

Mr MacGregor said the sale of counterfeit goods had risen since the start of the recession.