Going down the toilet! – Have your say

Incorrect labelling and marketing of wet wipes and other items as ‘flushable’ has resulted in serious plumbing issues by contributing to ‘fatbergs’. Wet wipes and other items don’t disintegrate like toilet paper when flushed, wet wipes typically contain plastic so, once they reach the sea, they last for a long time, causing havoc with marine life and the environment, read more here. Standards Australia has developed a draft standard, open for public comment, especially relevant for products designed and marketed for use in a bathroom setting and suitable for toilet flushing.

Appropriate labelling of products will enable greater public understanding and awareness of the types of products that are suitable for toilet disposal and reduce the burden on the wastewater systems and the environment. Standards Australia encourages views and input from a wide cross section of the public on the draft publication during the public comment stage. Login to Standards Australia Connect to browse the draft of AS/NZS 5328 Flushable products which is open for Public Comment until 1st November 2021. 

Wastewater systems have been and are designed to treat sanitary waste from toilets and other waste streams such as bathing, laundry, and kitchen activities. The draft document outlines a framework, provides labelling guidance and requirements, and sets out methods for testing whether products are suitable for toilet flushing and therefore compatible with wastewater systems and the downstream environment. The framework is based on ISO/TR 24524:2019 and was prepared by members of Standards Australia Technical Committee WS-041 Service activities – Water supply and wastewater systems.

Reduce and manage waste in the right way and move to a circular economy. A more circular and therefore more sustainable economy requires safe wastewater management to help protect our ecosystems, read more in United Nations Water Facts. Also find out about the different types of wastewater and impact on people’s health and the environment.

Consumers Federation of Australia (CFA)  is engaging with these challenges by supporting a representative to participate on the committee which developed the draft standard, bringing the consumer stakeholder contribution to the process and ensuring a robust standard of benefit to the community. For more information about the CFA Standards Project and how to participate, please contact standards@consumeraction.org.au.

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