Leading the Way to Promote the Proper Disposal of Nonwoven Disposable Products

The suppliers of nonwoven materials and products, represented by EDANA and INDA - the Associations representing the vast majority of nonwovens supplied to the market today across EMEA and North America - are committed to communicating to consumers when the toilet is an appropriate disposal route for finished products in the marketplace.

Flushability has been an area of focus for EDANA in Europe and INDA in North America since 2004.  We formed industry-based task forces to address the flushability of nonwoven disposable products. Technical experts from our member companies worked together to develop a definition of flushability, a technical assessment and test methods. The test methods were based on the combined experience of the nonwoven disposable products industry and drew upon expertise from academia, consultancy and the wastewater industry.

In 2008, we issued the first Guidance Document to help wipe manufacturers assess whether their products should be flushed into the wastewater stream. A second edition was published in 2009. The third edition of the “Guidelines Document for Assessing the Flushability of Nonwoven Disposable Products” was released in June 2013.  

Since the first edition, the Guidance Document has been a living document, and we continually gather feedback from stakeholders across the nonwovens and wastewater industries to use in reviews and updates of the Guidelines. INDA/EDANA will commence a review of the third edition no later than December 31, 2015.

We recognise that the appeal of these products comes from the advantages they offer in effectiveness, cleanliness, convenience and ease of use. However, how and where they are used can encourage flushing as the means for disposal which, in certain cases, is not the correct route.

Together, our aim is to reduce the amount of non-flushable material in the wastewater stream.  Therefore, it is important that even products which are likely to be flushed (even though not designed to be), and products which do not meet our Guidelines are labeled “Do Not Flush”.  This is why we developed a voluntary Code of Practice which includes a dedicated symbol for companies to use on product packaging. Clear communication on packaging will help to educate consumers on the proper disposal route for products and prevent costly problems at home and at wastewater treatment facilities.

Below is a copy of the executive summary, providing an overview of this third edition.  For more information specific to you, visit one of the pages at the side of this page, or check out the frequently asked questions about this activity.

For help in applying the Guidelines to your product, or if you have a question about whether a product can be flushable, please contact marines.lagemaat@edana.org for assistance.

**Please note that an update has been made to the test method FG506, to correct a reference to a test method title in the introductory sentence. This correction does not alter the method, nor does it impact the test methodology or subsequent result. Purchasers of the test method have been advised via a direct letter or email. Should you have any questions, please contact marines.lagemaat@edana.org for assistance.
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