Water Sector News
Hackney entrepreneur makes elite Forbes list after inventing ‘truly flushable’ wet wipes
A local entrepreneur has been named in the highly regarded Forbes 30 Under 30 list after inventing a plastic-free wet wipe that disperses in water in just three hours.
Scientist Ellenor McIntosh, 26, co-founded Twipes – short for toilet wipes – in a bid to tackle the choking effect of traditional wet wipes on city sewers, and the damage they do to riverbeds and oceans.
Wet wipes contain plastic and take roughly 100 years to biodegrade, releasing harmful micro-plastics in the process.
Millions are spent removing ‘fatbergs’ – huge congealed masses of wet wipes, nappies, cooking oils, and more – from sewers each year.
While many wet wipe products are labelled ‘flushable’, McIntosh says this is often just marketing lingo.
“When brands say flushable, they mean it will make it down your pipes,” she explains. “It says nothing about what happens next. They don’t break apart and disperse like toilet tissue.