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INDA & EDANA introduce new practice on labelling wipes

Press release
Wastewater
9 February 2017
Concept image of the inside of a pipe lined with grime

Water UK welcomes the recent issue of INDA & EDANA's new code of practice on labelling of wipes.

The new EDANA/INDA requirement for all wipes manufacturers to prominently display a 'Do Not Flush' label on the front of products likely to be contaminated by faeces, menses or urine that have not passed an appropriate flushability standard, illustrates EDANA/INDA's willingness to work with the water industry to prevent customer confusion on what can and cannot be flushed.

This in turn will hopefully help reduce the problems caused by flushing incorrect waste, in particular, sewer blockages and pollution incidents, including sewer flooding of properties.

While this is a step forward, primary research from UK water companies show that customers flush many of the wipes products that are not part of EDANA/INDA's requirement to prominently display front of pack 'Do Not Flush' logo, including wet floor cleaning wipes and make up wipes.

As such Water UK is urging EDANA/INDA to continue work further and make it a requirement for all wipes, regardless usage, to display a prominent front of pack 'Do Not Flush' logo if they have not reached an appropriate flushability standard agreed by the UK water industry.

Water UK has developed its own flushability testing guidelines: 'the SNAP protocol'. These guidelines have been developed based on water industry expertise on flushability in the sewer network. No wipes product currently on sale anywhere in the UK or overseas have met these water industry flushability guidelines.

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

"Water UK recognises that customer awareness on what can and cannot be flushed is essential, and we will continue to promote the 3Ps message: only pee, poo and paper can go down the loo.

"The 3Ps message should be supported by manufacturer labelling, to help reduce sewer blockages and related incidents."

Water UK will be working on a national customer awareness campaign in 2017 with other relevant stakeholders and will continue to support local water company awareness campaigns on flushability.

Water UK Communications
0207 344 1805

Notes to Editors

  1. INDA & EDANA manufacturing members represent the vast majority of nonwovens supplied to the market today in North America and EMEA respectively (including Western Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey, C.I.S and the Middle East and Africa).
  2. Water UK Sewer Network Abuse Prevent (SNAP) is group represented by the 12 water and sewerage companies in the UK.
  3. The Water UK WRC/SNAP Protocol is a series of seven tests a wipe product must pass in order for a flushable claim be associated with the product
  4. The UK water industry has led an international flushability statement which now has support from 314 organisations across 26 different countries.