WEF Submits Comments to Federal Trade Commission on Wipes and Claims of “Flushability”

On June 17, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) submitted comments to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning wipe manufacturers’ claims of their product’s “flushability” and about how these products should be labeled. The comments were related to a proposed FTC consent agreement with Nice-Pak Products Inc. (Orangeburg, N.Y.). WEF’s comments support the proposed consent agreement’s requirement that flushability claims be supported by “competent and reliable” evidence that includes the expertise of professionals in the plumbing and wastewater treatment sectors. Testing must be objective, reliable, and transparent, and wipes that are not designated as flushable must be clearly and prominently labeled, according to the FTC.

WEF comments now are part of the record on the FTC investigation into Nice-Pak’s practices. In the comments, WEF states that claims that wipe products meet flushability standards are misleading and should be prohibited until standards are established with input of professional experts such as WEF members. WEF’s comments also note that any resolution must include a commitment to product stewardship, which includes proper labeling that clearly informs consumers when the nonwoven wipe product cannot be disposed by flushing.

WEF continues to work with other water sector organizations on this issue and has created a task force of WEF members from several expert committees to work on this topic. WEF plans to continue to work with the nonwoven fabric industry and other partners to search for solutions.

For more information on this topic, read these past WEF Highlights articles:

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