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UK water companies lead global battle against ‘misleading’ wet wipes advertising

UK water companies are leading a global battle against misleading claims that wipes are flushable. These so called ‘flushable’ wet wipes cause misery to millions of people around the world by blocking sewers and contributing to nasty floods in their homes and wider environment.

A Declaration has been signed in the UK and 9 other countries outlining the water industry’s current position regarding flushable labelled products.

The Declaration also calls on the manufacturers to clearly label their products as non-flushable until an agreed ISO flushability technical standard has been agreed with the water industry.

The pressure from water companies and Governments comes a day before manufacturers from across the globe meet at an EDANA conference to learn about the newest trends and developments in the personal care and hygiene products industry. And earlier today, Wessex Water sent a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding ‘misleading’ wet wipes advertising.

Sarah Mukherjee, Director of Environment at Water UK, said:

“There are strong views from customers and water companies around the world that it is time for the manufacturers to take action to prevent sewer flooding.

“The financial and emotional cost of a sewer flood in your home is awful and surely it is worth taking every step possible to prevent this happening.”

In the UK alone, water companies estimate it costs around £90million a year to unblock sewers clogged up by wipes and hygiene products. This does not include the human and environmental impact and cost.

Toilets are designed for the three Ps only: poo, pee and (toilet) paper. This international statement recommends that consumers must be given clear and unambiguous information about appropriate disposal methods of products.

International statement on flushability

Notes to Editors:

  1. The conference being held for manufacturers is being hosted by EDANA, the international association for nonwoven products.


Water UK Communications
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