By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Find out more by following this link.

News article

26/10/2012

Wet Wipes Offer Range of Benefits, but must be Properly Tested, Clearly Labeled and used Properly

EDANA believes that wet wipes have a beneficial role in society, offering benefits for personal hygiene and convenience, and as long as the product is properly tested, labelled correctly and used correctly, then the wipe would not pose any issue and should not cause blockages in the sewers, or elsewhere.
26 October, 2012 - EDANA, the association representing the nonwovens and related industries, includes companies that manufacture and market the various different types of wet wipes.

Some wipes are designed for hygienic usages whereby the wipes have the potential to become contaminated with faeces, menses, and urine and thus pose a potential public health concern. However, not all wet wipes are designed to be flushed or marketed as 'flushable' for disposal via the toilet. Examples include baby wipes, which although is likely to be contaminated with bodily waste, are meant to be disposed of together with the nappy, or nappy liner, and cosmetic wipes, which would not be contaminated with bodily waste and therefore safe to dispose of via the solid waste.

The nonwovens industry through trade associations in both Europe (EDANA) and the USA (INDA) has a "Guidance document for assessing the flushability of nonwoven consumer products" which is currently in its second edition, with a third revision due in 2013. This guidance document details tests that are to be performed for a nonwoven consumer product to be able to carry a 'flushable' claim.

In developing the third edition guidelines we have worked with and continue to work with the wastewater industry in the UK, the USA, and continental Europe so that we all understand the challenges associated with inappropriate disposal of a variety of items to the sewer system.

EDANA believes that wet wipes have a beneficial role in society, offering benefits for personal hygiene and convenience, and as long as the product is properly tested, labelled correctly and used correctly, then the wipe would not pose any issue and should not cause blockages in the sewers, or elsewhere.

Associated with the Guidance document to assess wipes is a Code of Practice for the industry, which outlines the commitments of EDANA and INDA and their member companies to use the Guidance Document to gauge the flushability of individual products, and to then clearly label all packs of personal hygiene wet wipes that are not flushable with a recommended symbol to indicate that they should be disposed of via the solid waste system (rubbish bins). This labelling guidance was launched in March 2009.

The work undertaken by EDANA, INDA and manufacturers also includes identifying ways to educate consumers on the need to dispose of wet wipes appropriately, as much of the problem relates to people ignoring instructions on pack.

Furthermore, a new code of practice is being developed by the trade associations which is applicable to the labelling requirements of nonwoven wipes and is not restricted to personal hygiene wet wipes. The aim is to harmonise across Europe and the United States the consistency and clarity of the "Do not Flush" message which is already present on the packaging of the vast majority of products on the market.

About EDANA
EDANA is the leading association, serving more than 225 member companies in the nonwovens and related industries, in over 36 countries. Its mission is to create the foundation for sustainable growth of the nonwovens and related industries through active promotion, education and dialogue. Information about upcoming events can be found at www.edana.org

For further information please contact:
Abby Bailey, Marketing and Communications Director, EDANA
Telephone: +32 2 734 93 10
Fax: +32 2 733 35 18
E-mail: abby.bailey@edana.org
Website: www.edana.org
EDANA | Avenue Herrmann Debroux 46-B-1160 Brussels, Belgium | Tel: +32 2 734 93 10