The Water Watchdog has backed the launch of an official new water industry Fine to Flush symbol which will be awarded to plastic-free wipes that are proven to break down in the sewer and not clog up pipes. Manufacturers will only be able to feature it on their packaging once their product has passed strict laboratory tests.
It forms part of wider efforts by the sector to rid the sewer system of ‘unflushable’ items including wet wipes, cooking fat, oil and grease, cotton buds and nappies which are responsible for the majority of the 300,000 blockages that happen each year.
Households end up footing the £100 million bill to clear these blockages, which can also result in homes and the environment being flooded with raw sewage.
The labelling of so-called ‘flushable’ products often paints a confusing picture for consumers but it’s not just wet wipes that can cause a pain in the drain. Recent research by CCWater found 1 in 5 consumers still pour leftover cooking fat, oil and grease down the sink which can clog up private drains and public sewers.