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Legislation
By State

Illinois Icon
Illinois

Wipes Labeling Act in Illinois Advances Responsible Flushing Efforts Supported by Wipes Industry and Municipal Wastewater

New bipartisan law requires proper labeling on non-flushable wipes to aid consumer education about proper disposal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.–On Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 294, known as the Wipes Labeling Act, which now requires manufacturers of household disposable wipes for sale in the state of Illinois to clearly label “Do Not Flush” on wipes that should not be flushed down the toilet. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2022.

The bill was first introduced February 2021 and has received wide support from Illinois wastewater agencies as well as organizations within the wipes industry. Illinois is one of the impacted states where municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic have experienced increased volumes of wipes in their sewer and treatment systems that contribute to clogs and other operational disruptions.

“The impact of non-flushable wipes on public wastewater systems grows more problematic and expensive to ratepayers with each passing day,” said Brandon Janes, President of the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies. “We are proud to have worked with our partners in the wipes manufacturing industry to put Illinois at the forefront of the nation in addressing this serious issue.”

Illinois is the third state to enact legislation on labeling of non-flushable wipes. In June, similar legislation was signed into law in Oregon, continuing the momentum around the Responsible Flushing Alliance’s campaign to equip consumers with more tools to make responsible flushing decisions. Washington State was the first to enact wipes legislation in March 2020.

“Prominent disposal labeling is essential in educating consumers on flushable versus non-flushable products, and we are pleased this legislation has passed in Illinois,” said Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance. “Through our #FlushSmart consumer education initiatives, the Responsible Flushing Alliance advocates for the same public awareness around smart flushing habits that is championed in this legislation. Clear labeling is a critical step in helping consumers practice responsible flushing habits, which in turn leads to healthier homes and communities for all of us.”

Launched this year, the #FlushSmart national campaign instructs consumers to look for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on product packaging and labeling to identify materials that should not be flushed down the toilet.

Some examples of non-flushable wipes that warrant the Do Not Flush labeling include baby wipes, cosmetic or facial wipes, hard surface cleaning or sanitizing wipes, floor cleaning wipes, make-up wipes and bath wipes. There are also non-flushable items contributing to clogs that shouldn’t be flushed, such as paper towels, menstrual products, cotton swabs, dental floss, rags, FOG (fats/oil/grease).

About Responsible Flushing Alliance

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what should and should not be flushed. We are a coalition of trade associations, wipes manufacturing companies, and non-profits committed to educating consumers about responsible, smart flushing habits. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.

Responsible Flushing Alliance Coalition Members

Albaad, ANDRITZ, Dude Products, Essity, First Quality, Georgia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson, Jacob Holm, Kelheim Fibres, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nehemiah Manufacturing, Nice-Pak, Procter & Gamble, Rockline Industries, Sellars Nonwovens, and Suominen Corp.

About Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies

The Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies (IAWA) is an organization that represents over 80 years of transition and growth of the well known and respected Illinois Association of Sanitary Districts. IAWA is oriented to meet the needs of Administrators and Managers who are concerned with clean streams and are responsible for wastewater collection and treatment in the State of Illinois.

Contacts

Lara Wyss – [email protected]

Joaquin McPeek – [email protected]

Oregon Icon
Oregon

Passage of Oregon House Bill 2344 Boosts Accountability for Responsible Flushing

“The Responsible Flushing Alliance is pleased to support this legislation through our #FlushSmart consumer education initiatives,” said Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance.

This legislation was a cooperative effort between wastewater and sanitation industries, wipes industry, and the state legislature

EUGENE, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law House Bill 2344, requiring manufacturers of personal care and household wipes for sale in the state of Oregon to clearly label “Do Not Flush” on those wipes that are not intended for disposal in the toilet.

“The Responsible Flushing Alliance is pleased to support this legislation through our #FlushSmart consumer education initiatives”Tweet this

Introduced in January 2021, this legislation received broad support from the wipes industry, as well as Oregon municipal wastewater agencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many municipalities saw an increase in volumes of inappropriately flushed baby wipes, hard surface cleaning/sanitizing wipes and other items not intended to be disposed via the toilet. Elevating consumer awareness of what should not be flushed – combined with the responsible labeling of products – is the key to addressing this issue.

“The Responsible Flushing Alliance is pleased to support this legislation through our #FlushSmart consumer education initiatives,” said Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance. “Our goal is to increase public awareness around how smart flushing habits lead to healthier homes and communities. Proper labeling is critical in educating consumers to recognize the difference between flushable and non-flushable products.”

Similar legislation has passed in Washington state and is currently under review in California and awaiting the Governor’s signature in Illinois.

This year, the Responsible Flushing Alliance launched a national effort to educate and promote responsible flushing habits known as #FlushSmart, as well as instruct consumers to look for the “Do Not Flush” symbol in product packaging and labeling to identify materials that should not be flushed down the toilet.

About Responsible Flushing Alliance

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what should and should not be flushed. We are a coalition of trade associations, wipes manufacturing companies, and non-profits committed to educating consumers about responsible, smart flushing habits. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.

Responsible Flushing Alliance Coalition Members

Albaad, ANDRITZ, Dude Products, Essity, First Quality, Georgia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson, Jacob Holm, Kelheim Fibres, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nehemiah Manufacturing, Nice-Pak, Procter & Gamble, Rockline Industries, Sellars Nonwovens, and Suominen Corp.

Contacts

Lara Wyss – [email protected]

Kamarri Dates (Edelman) – [email protected]

Read the original article here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210614005762/en/Passage-of-Oregon-House-Bill-2344-Boosts-Accountability-for-Responsible-Flushing

Washington Icon
Washington

Washington Becomes First State with Wipes Labeling Law

Washington State became the first state with a wipes labeling law on March 25, when Gov. Jay Inslee signed Washington’s HB 2565.

The law requires “Do Not Flush” logos on non-flushable wipes, with language to specify the size, placement and contrast of the logo. The bill does not set a standard for using the term “flushable” on packaging, however. The bill passed through the legislature with overwhelming support, with votes of 36-10 in the Senate and 93-4 in the House.

Washington’s law uses the labeling Code of Practice (2nd Edition) published by the wipes industry associations as the basis for the labeling guidelines. NACWA worked with the wipes associations and other water sector groups on this Code of Practice to ensure that the “Do Not Flush” logo would be prominently displayed on wipes packages.

However, wipes manufacturers are currently not following the Code of Practice instructions for size, placement and color contrast of the “Do Not Flush” logo. The Washington law provides additional specifications to prevent wipes manufacturers from trying to camouflage the logo with other package artwork.

The law comes at a time when utilities are becoming increasingly concerned about the flushing of wipes and other consumer products that do not break apart as quickly as toilet paper. As the spread of COVID-19 results in more disinfection of surfaces with wipes and substitution of toilet paper with other products due to toilet paper shortages, some utilities are seeing more clogs from wipes and other flushed products. Local media has covered the problem extensively in the last two weeks, and many utilities are renewing their efforts to get the “Toilets Are Not Trashcans” message to their communities.

NACWA will continue to work with its members and state associations to advance state legislation to address the wipes issue, and to increase public awareness of the issue. NACWA members interested in this issue may contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.

Legislation In Other States