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‘Fine to flush’ official mark introduced to tackle fatbergs

In News by Kate Wilson

A “Fine to flush” symbol is being introduced for wet wipes that have passed strict tests to ensure they will not contribute to sewer fatbergs.

Manufacturers of wipes will be able to feature the official water industry logo on their packaging if their products pass the independent scientific tests to prove they can be safely flushed down the toilet.

The “Fine to flush” symbol will let consumers know that the products do not contain plastic and will break down in the sewer system instead of clogging up sewers and contributing to fatbergs which cause blockages and sewage overflows.

Fatbergs, which are mainly caused by a build-up of wet wipes, oils and grease into a solid mass, have increased in frequency in recent years, with two massive fatbergs discovered recently in Whitechapel in London and Sidmouth in Devon.

Non-flushable wet wipes, which includes baby wipes, could make up around 93% of the material causing some sewer blockages, according to research into problem in 2017.

Improving the environment is the main aim of water industry, therefore the new standard for the wipes should make it easier for the consumers to make the right choice buying an environmental-friendly product.

The Marine Conservation Society has highlighted the importance of clear labelling for wet wipes to prevent the confusion on which products can be flushed. All the manufacturer should ensure that all the wipes either passed the new standard and have the logo on the packaging, or are clearly marked with “do not flush” label.