Wet Wipes Groups Set Flushability Guidelines

INDA, an industry trade association for the nonwoven fabrics industry, a consortium of manufacturers of disposable wet wipes, and EDANA, a trade association representing the nonwoven fabrics industry in Europe, developed testing procedures and guidelines to evaluate the flushability of wet wipe products and now reports that most manufacturers have implemented these guidelines.

Prior to their publication in June 2008, the guidelines underwent rigorous peer review with experts from wastewater conveyance, wastewater treatment and academics from both the United States and Europe. The guidelines include tests to evaluate the flushability of products through wastewater treatment facilities, septic tanks and home plumbing.

As of June, most of the major wipe manufacturers have implemented these Guidelines and INDA’s goal is that 100 percent of the member manufacturers will test products for flushability and only label products as “Flushable” if they meet these guidelines by 2010.

According to INDA President Rory Holmes, “In speaking with managers at wastewater treatment plants, we understand the importance of educating consumers. Consumers flush products that should not be flushed, including household cleaning products, rags and other wipes. Wipe manufacturers want to help educate consumers and will now have available a “no flush” logo to be used on packaging of products that should not be flushed.”

In the guidelines, products considered flushable must:

  • clear toilets and properly maintained drainage pipe systems under expected product usage conditions;
  • be compatible with existing wastewater conveyance, treatment, reuse and disposal systems; and
  • become unrecognizable in a reasonable period of time and be safe in the natural receiving environments.

INDA is a trade association for the nonwovens fabric industry located in Cary, N.C. Three hundred members belong to INDA and produce a myriad of products in addition to wipes including: household furniture components, construction/roofing materials, protective apparel, automotive components, medical barrier fabrics and baby diapers.

For the complete Flushability Guidelines document. contact INDA at 919.233.1210 ext. 120 and speak with Helena Lee.

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