12 April 2018
Consumer group CHOICE has welcomed the decision to fine the makers of White King's "flushable wipes", Pental, $700,000 after it admitted to misleading consumers by claiming its products could be flushed down the toilet.
The fine comes after CHOICE first raised concerns about the products in 2015, following testing which found several common flushable wipes did not break down like toilet paper, posing a blockage threat to household pipes.
"We're delighted Pental has been penalised. Trying to convince people to flush these products, when they can clog up your pipes and leave you with plumbing bills in the thousands of dollars is a grubby marketing tactic," says CHOICE head of media and spokesperson, Tom Godfrey.
"Despite claims like "just flush away" or "disintegrate in the sewage system when flushed, just like toilet paper", Pental's White King wipes could end up leaving consumers with some dirty damage to their sewage system."
The Australian waste water industry estimated it was costing $15 million a year to clear blockages caused by wet wipes.
"It's clear the 'flushable' wipes industry contributes to 'fatbergs' clogging pipes across the country," says Godfrey.
"With households, local councils and water services organisations having to struggle with the cost of removing these wipes from the sewage system, companies need to clean up their act."
"Consumers need to be able to trust the claims companies make on packs. While we welcome today's decision, we'd like to see fines increased for companies who breach the Australian Consumer Law."
Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669
What can be flushed down the toilet?
Stick to the '3 Ps':
• paper (toilet paper, that is)