International Group Updates Flushability Specifications for Wipes
The original specifications were published in 2018 to provide a method for evaluating whether wipes and other products labeled “flushable” are safe for sewer systems. Problems caused by improperly flushed consumer products are experienced by clean water utilities worldwide, resulting in clogs, overflows, and billions of dollars in maintenance costs every year.
The updated specifications contain slightly modified testing procedures and criteria to improve the repeatability of the tests and consistency of the results. The three publicly available specification (PAS) documents together describe the criteria that a product should meet to be compatible with being flushed down a toilet.
PAS 1 outlines the five criteria for a product to be labeled flushable: environmental protection, toilet and drain line clearance, disintegration, settling, and biodisintegration. PAS 2 provides key definitions used in the specifications, and PAS 3 details the disintegration test procedures.
The IWSFG flushability specifications are used in the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, introduced in the Senate in February, which is the first federal bill that would address the labeling of wipes.
NACWA is the US voting member of the IWSFG, and the Association continues to engage with other groups within the US and worldwide as part of its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign. NACWA members with questions can contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.