Biodegradable does not mean flushable

Guardpack recognizes that protection of the environment requires our commercial activity to be conducted in a sustainable manner.

It is appreciated that sustainable development cannot be achieved alone and we therefore ask our clients to join us in this effort, so together, we can jointly drive down damage to both our sewage systems and the environment as a whole.

In light of recent press coverage, calling for a ban on wet wipes is not the answer.

Wet wipes have been around for many years and are a modern day phenomenon used for a variety of cleansing purposes such as personal hygiene and household cleaning. Their uses have changed peoples lives for the better, not only are they convenient and reduce the water wastage they vitally prevent cross contamination of bacteria and help reduce the spread of diseases. They are also widely used in the medical industry and for people with incontinence and disabilities, these wipes are critical to their lifestyle.

Many of our products contain wipes that our 100% Biodegradable, which mean they will decompose in landfill, however this does not mean they can be flushed in our sewer system.

For many years water companies discourage the flushing of wet wipes down toilets, as their failure to break down can contribute to sewer blockages known as fatbergs however the message is still not clear to consumers.

There are some 100% Biodegradable materials that are flushable and some which are not.

In order to combat this confusion and educate consumers appropriately, the Code of Practice (CoP) has been initiated by the Non-Woven industry to incorporate the DO NOT FLUSH logo on all wet wipes that are likely to be flushed, this includes cosmetic, cleaning and baby wipes which are often often used in a bathroom setting, that are non-flushable.

Working closing with our suppliers and non-woven industry groups, Guardpack fully support the Code of Practice ‘Do Not Flush’ labeling initiative and are committed to helping consumers understand what is – and is not – safe to flush.  The deadline for this initiative is 30th October 2018 and whilst it is not legislative, we strongly advise our private label clients to think about changes to their own artwork.

There is strong argument for consistency that this should be adopted across all non-flushable wet wipe products and we will be working with our customers to actively encourage changes to their packaging. Not only do we believe this is the correct action for the environment, we expect an increase in efforts to reduce non-compliant products after this date.

We are continually working with our non-woven suppliers to offer more and more 100% biodegradable and flushable options and we are happy to discuss these options with our clients.

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