What the settlement between FTC and Nice-Pak means for wipes

The California Water Environment Association recently reported on the agreed settlement between FTC and Nice-Pak regarding flushable wipes labeling. According to the article and the official FTC website, Nice-Pak has agreed to stop advertising moist toilet tissue as flushable unless it can substantiate that the product is safe to flush. Jessica Rich, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the following in regard to the suit:

“The evidence didn’t back up Nice-Pak’s claim that their wipes were safe to flush. If you claim a product is flushable, it needs to flush in the real world, without clogging household plumbing or sewer and septic systems.”

The question of whether this will positively impact utilities remains to be seen, and some experts think it will make little difference. According to a recent blog post from the NACWA, the only thing that’s really going to make a difference here is a substantial change in consumer behavior:

“Too many people are flushing baby wipes and other types of wipes that are super strong and not designed to break down at all in a sewer system. This problem can only be solved with better product labeling and consumer education.”

We agree with the NACWA, and believe product labeling and consumer education are key elements in the fight against wipes. However, the third piece to solving this wipes crisis lies in utilizing technology that fully breaks down this tough material in the waste stream, before it can reach pumps.

To learn more, read our three-part series on how the industry can fully combat flushables.