Flushable wipe dispenser

“Flushable” wipes claims misleading

A $737,000 fine has been handed out by Australia’s Federal Court to the manufacturer of a flushable wipe product for making misleading claims.

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Manufacturer Pental claimed its White King toilet and bathroom cleaning wipes disintegrated “just like toilet paper”. However, following charges brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the company admitted this wasn’t the case.

White King flushable products were sold under the Janola brand in New Zealand. Pental said it stopped selling the products in July 2016.

We’d previously called for Pental, and other manufacturers of these products, to ditch claims they’re flushable after our tests found they didn’t break down in real-world conditions.

The products have led to costly problems at wastewater treatment plants. Some consumers have also faced steep plumbing bills when household wastewater pipes have been blocked by the wipes. The only type of wipe you should be flushing is regular toilet paper.

The ACCC is also taking proceedings against Kimberly-Clark Australia in relation to four flushable wipes products marketed and supplied in Australia between May 2013 and May 2016. The company previously defended its flushable wipes to us as being biodegradable and meeting voluntary industry guidelines for “flushability”.