(March 11, 2020) – State bills to address the labeling of wipes continue to gain momentum, with a bill in Washington state passing both legislative bodies and a bill introduced in Minnesota.
Washington’s bill, HB 2565, requires “Do Not Flush” logos on non-flushable wipes, with language to specify the size, placement, and contrast of the logo. The bill does not set a standard for using the term “flushable” on packaging. The bill passed through the legislature with overwhelming support, with votes of 36-10 in the Senate and 93-4 in the House. Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign the bill.
In Minnesota, HF 3181, and its Senate companion, SF 3139, address both labeling of non-flushable wipes and flushability standards for wipes labeled “flushable.” The bill uses the Code of Practice (2nd Edition) published by the wipes industry associations as the basis for the non-flushable wipes labeling guidelines. NACWA worked with the wipes associations and other water sector groups on this Code of Practice to ensure that the “Do Not Flush” logo would be prominently displayed on wipes packages. For the flushability standard, the bill references the Federal Trade Commission consent decree with wipes manufacturer Nice-Pak, which contains a qualitative description of flushability.
NACWA will continue to work with its members and state associations to advance state legislation to address the wipes issue. NACWA members interested in this issue may contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.