Friends of the Earth Canada, represented by Ecojustice, have filed the application for the investigation, contending there are environmental and cost consequences associated with consumers believing and acting on the “flushability” claims. (Friends of the Earth Canada)

You flush me, you #FlushMeNot: Environmental network calls for investigation into flushable wipes

Campaign says “flushability” claims of single-use flushable wipes are false and misleading

A recent study out of Ryerson University has spurred an environmental network to ask for an investigation by the Competition Bureau into false and misleading claims made by the manufacturers of 23 flushable wipes.

Friends of the Earth Canada, represented by Ecojustice, have filed the application for the investigation, contending there are environmental and cost consequences associated with consumers believing and acting on the “flushability” claims.

“We’re asking the Competition Bureau to investigate and levy fines for false and misleading advertising in the amount of $230 million,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth Canada. “Concerned and informed Canadians can make a difference by signing our petition and helping to develop the next list of products for testing by joining the #FlushMeNot campaign.”

Ryerson University’s Urban Water program published a report in March that claimed that all the wipe products they tested failed to meet internationally recognized criteria for flushability – including those wipes labelled as flushable. The study examined more than 101 products, and all items except toilet paper failed to pass tests for drain line clearance and disintegration.

RELATED: Pee and Poo: Mascots join Metro Vancouver campaign to keep ‘unflushables’ out of toilets

The City of Victoria has experienced issues with wipes clogging the local sewer system.

“Even though the manufacturers of these products say they are flushable or disposable, they do not break-down like toilet paper and they have caused issues with the sewer system. We have seen them clog sewer pipes causing backups in homes and problems at our pumping stations,” said city spokesperson Bill Eisenhauer. “The only items that should be flushed down a toilet are human waste and toilet paper.”

Kimberly-Clark Corp., the company that manufactures Cottonelle products, one of the brands named in the application, say there are numerous inaccuracies in the report and that the Ryerson study doesn’t “reflect real world forensic studies of numerous municipalities (including NYC and London) which demonstrate that virtually all of the wipes persisting in the sewers are wipes not designed or marketed to be flushed, such as baby wipes, household wipes and cosmetic wipes.

Cottonelle claims that their flushable wipes use a unique and patented technology that allows them to hold together when wet in the package and during use, but immediately start to break down when flushed down a toilet.

“We absolutely recognize that ‘non flushable wipes’ being improperly flushed are a real problem for wastewater. Where we differ most strongly with some wastewater personnel is that we believe taking these products off the market would only worsen the problem. In other words, flushable wipes are the solution to the problem of wipes accumulating in sewers,” said Terry Balluck, media relations for Kimberly-Clark Corp.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read