You might be tempted to flush your wet wipes down the toilet but Water UK and other companies around the world have warned that you could contribute to a serious sewer blockage if you do.
More than 247 companies in over 18 countries have now signed an international statement outlining the global water industry’s position with regards to products that are labelled as flushable but are in fact no such thing.
Director of environment at Water UK Sarah Mukherjee said: “There are strong views from customers and water companies that manufacturers need to take action to stop calling wet wipes ‘flushable’ and help prevent sewer flooding. The financial and emotional cost of a sewer flood in your home is awful and surely it is worth taking every step possible to prevent this happening.”
In the UK, water suppliers estimate that over half of all blockages are made worse because of hygiene products and wet wipes – and it costs around £88 million a year to unblock affected sewers.
In a letter to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Water UK calls for labelling and advertising of wet wipes and other products that come marked as flushable to be changed. Customers are currently being misled because they believe they can be flushed and doing so will have no negative impact on them, their homes or the environment.
It was emphasised that wet wipes do not dissolve like toilet paper does, which can lead to plastics being released into the environment – which could also have consequences where the human food chain is concerned.
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