Pipe Relining Blog

Wet Wipes Testing Australia

Wet Wipes Testing Australia

Australia is conducting its own extensive research into the flushability of wet wipes starting with 13 different brands at the country's largest replica sewer, a 1.2 kilometre-long network of above ground pipes at the Luggage Point Resource Recovery Centre in Brisbane. According to the ABC, This testing is set out to achieve the aim of creating Australia’s first national standard for Flushable wipes with an industry tick of approval for successful products.

Wet Wipes Testing Australia - Drains

A key part of the test is to determine whether any of these wipes break down or disperse in the sewer in order to prevent blockages, Fatbergs and other unwanted effects. Colin Hester from Queensland Urban Utilities is leading the trial and has explained they were examining how well the wipes broke down when they were flushed.

Given results from overseas, I don’t think any brand will have much success unless they stop using cheaper plastic based polymers.

What are wet wipes even made from?

Essentially plastic, ninety percent of wet wipes on the market are produced from plastic textiles made of polyester or polypropylene and often bound with wood pulp based polymers such as cellulose.

Are Flushable Wet Wipes even possible?

So far in extensive testing implemented overseas, it has been widely conclusive that most wet wipes marketed as flushable don't exist when the composition of a wet wipe is made up of plastic. The UK for instance has found just one brand which is flushable and has earned their Fine to Flush industry approval: The plastic free tissue based Natracare brand of moist tissues: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46835573

Wet Wipes. An Environmentally Unfriendly Luxury

Most Wet Wipes branded as Flushable also don't adhere to any specific standard besides the fact you can flush it down your toilet. This ironic concept makes a lot of things flushable but it doesn't mean you should just do it anyway.

Flushable also doesn’t mean environmentally friendly, a simple fact of irresponsibility some of these companies branding their products as flushable just simply ignore. If its plastic, don't flush it. Wet wipes which escape the filters of our sewerage systems can end up having significant environmental impact, with plastic fibres from wetwipes ending up in our beaches and interacting with marine life.

Testing on a huge selection of Wet Wipe type brands has all been conclusive; Don’t flush them down the toilet!

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