New law calls for easier-to-find disposal labeling for wet wipes

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SACRAMENTO, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Today Governor Newsom signed AB 818 by Assembly Member Richard Bloom, requiring all packaging for diaper wipes, cleaning wipes and cosmetic wipes display clear “Do not not rinse ”. The bill is the result of a three-year effort between representatives of wastewater and product management groups and wipe manufacturers to address an urgent pollution problem that is affecting public sanitation infrastructure. The legislation establishes labeling requirements for the disposal of wet wipe packaging and requires wipe manufacturers to educate the public about the impacts of improper rinsing of wipes.

The wastewater sector has taken on the burden of managing debris from improper disposal of wipes and other wastes in their systems for years. A recent national study estimates that California agencies spend around $ 50 million per year removing wipes from the sewers. “This is a big step forward in the wastewater industry’s fight to keep wipes destined for the trash from entering our public sewer systems,” said Jessica Gauger, Director of Advocacy legislative and public affairs for CASA, a state-wide trade association representing public wastewater treatment agencies. “Thanks to the leadership of Assembly Member Bloom, the wipes industry has taken a big step forward in addressing consumer confusion regarding the improper disposal of these products, which has been a major contributor to debris in our systems. By working in conjunction with industry stakeholders, we have found a solution to bring clarity to consumers, which we hope will lead to a decrease in the number of emptied wipes. ”

“With AB 818, the wipe industry is taking responsibility for the labeling necessary for consumers to properly dispose of their products,” said Heidi Sanborn of the National Stewardship Action Council, a national nonprofit that promotes the product management and circular economy policy. She notes that in addition to packaging labeling requirements, a key provision of AB 818 requires wipe manufacturers not only to educate the public through labeling, but also to conduct awareness campaigns. of the public to explain the proper disposal of their products and the effects of improperly rinsing them.

Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance, a 501 (c) (6) created by the wipe industry to promote responsible disposal habits of consumers, also welcomed the adoption of AB 818. “The raising awareness and educating the public around smart flushing habits is the key to changing behaviors. Wyss said this was the start of a new era of collaboration between the wastewater industry and wipe manufacturers, noting: “Protecting public infrastructure and the environment is a high priority for our alliance. and we look forward to our continued cooperative efforts with wastewater treatment agencies in California. . ”

#FlushSmart is the Responsible Flushing Alliance’s campaign that aims to enable consumers to distinguish the categories of wipes that should not be flushed down the toilet and to recognize the “Do not flush” symbol, with the aim of improving behavior elimination to help reduce damage to California. sewage systems caused by products and materials not designed to be flushed.

About the California Association of Sanitation Agencies

CASA represents more than 125 local public organizations engaged in the collection, treatment and recycling of wastewater and biosolids to protect public health and the environment. Our mission is to provide reliable information and advocacy on behalf of California’s water sanitation agencies, and to be a leader in sustainability and the use of renewable resources.

About the National Stewardship Action Council

Founded in 2015, the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) is a network of committed promoters made up of governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and consumers who advocate for producers to fairly share responsibilities in a circular economy.

About the Responsible Rinsing Alliance

RFA is a 501 (c) (6) non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers and focused on what should and should not be gutted. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our country’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed. The member companies are: Albaad, ANDRITZ, DUDE Products, Essity, First Quality, Johnson & Johnson, Jacob Holm, Kelheim Fibers, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nehemiah Manufacturing, Nice-Pak, Papel Aralar SA, Procter & Gamble, Rockline Industries, Nonwoven Sellars and Suominen Corporation.

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