Flushable Wipes In the Headlines Again

Over the past couple of years, flushable wipes have been getting a lot of press, first with television advertising, then with reports from various agencies challenging claims that these wipes are flushable.  Well, it hasn’t taken long for that debate to turn into a lawsuit!

Pumper Magazine recently published an article regarding a class action law suit in the State of New Hampshire against Walmart and Rockline Industries for false claims about flushable wipes.  As experience has demonstrated, flushable wipes certainly can be flushed, but there is significant evidence that they do not break down in either in septic systems or in large centralized systems.

This suit mirrors a class action suit filed in April 2014 in Ohio against Target and its store brand flushable wipes.  A bit of further research on this topic unearthed an online article from last September penned by Katrina Basso, which states:

“Canada and America are moving toward regulating marketing of “flushable” wipes and setting industry standards for these products, which many individual consumers and wastewater experts allege cause a lot of problems.

Ontario wastewater expert Barry Orr is one Canadian researcher who is spearheading the International Standards Organization’s efforts to outline and enforce flushable wipe standards. He, along with other researchers, is developing flushability tests to vet the marketed sewer and septic safe characteristics of flushable wipe products being sold in North America.”

The article entitled “US and Canadian Experts Challenge Flushable Wipes Claims” provides some interesting reading.  If the current rash of class actions suits are successful, we will likely see litigation on these types of products become more common.