Company That Makes Wet Wipes Agrees Not To Call Products “Flushable” Unless It Can Prove It

After pleas from sewage workers and hearing from plumbers who say flushable wipes are actually not flushable or good for sewer systems, one company that makes wet wipes for retail partners has agreed to stop marketing its products as safe for flushing, unless it can substantiate that claim.

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Nice-Pak Products, which makes wet wipes for retail customers like Costco, CVS, Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club, wherein it agreed to stop advertising moist toilet tissues as flushable unless it can prove that they’re safe for sewer and septic tanks.

“The evidence didn’t back up Nice-Pak’s claims that their wipes were safe to flush,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “If you claim a product is flushable, it needs to flush in the real world, without clogging household plumbing or sewer and septic systems.”

The FTC’s complaint had said that Nice-Pak was in violation of the FTC Act by misrepresenting that a certain formulation of its wipes: 1) are safe for sewer systems; 2) are safe for septic systems; 3) break apart shortly after being flushed; and 4) are safe to flush.

According to the FTC, Nice-Pak also provided the means and materials for retailers and others to market the moist tissues under their own private labels and make similar unsubstantiated claims.

It’ll be up to Nice-Pak now to show that the wipe will disperse in a “sufficiently short amount of time” after flushing to prevent clogging and/or damage to household plumbing, sewage lines, septic systems, and other standard wastewater treatment equipment.