Clean Water Current

Three States Introduce Wipes Bills

Mar 1, 2023

Massachusetts, Colorado, and Hawaii are the latest states looking to address the problem of flushed wipes through legislation.  Washington, Oregon, California, and Illinois have already instituted labeling requirements for non-flushable wipes, requiring prominent “Do Not Flush” logos on packages of baby wipes, personal hygiene wipes, disinfecting wipes, and other wipes that are likely to be used in bathrooms and flushed.  California’s law also requires wipes manufacturers to conduct a public education campaign about flushing wipes. 

The current Massachusetts bill follows California’s model, with “Do Not Flush” labeling and public education requirements.  The Colorado bill contains labeling requirements that mirror those in California, Oregon, and Illinois, and a hearing in the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee will be held next week. 

The Hawaii bill takes a different approach, as it would ban the sale of any wipe labeled “flushable.” The bill has passed out of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and has been sent to the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee. 

The four state laws already in place have resulted in improved “Do Not Flush” labeling on most brands of non-flushable wipes.  NACWA is continuing to work on the re-introduction of a federal bill, which would help bring all wipes brands into compliance with “Do Not Flush” labeling and address the issue of which wipes can be labeled “flushable.”

NACWA members interested in supporting state and federal legislation on wipes should contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.  


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