Why Legislation Is Misguided On This Issue

 Infographic what2flush

Legislation such as Intro 666-A in New York City will have very serious damaging consequences on small businesses.

  • Enforcement fines will hit small businesses, placing another financial burden on local business owners with limited resources.
  • Any storeowner who sells wipes that should not be sold according to Intro 666 would be fined up to $2,500 – that’s an extraordinarily hard hit to one of New York’s hard working small business owners
  • And while it will be a slap on hardworking small business owners, it won’t stop New Yorkers from being able to purchase the product they want.
  • They’ll simply take their business elsewhere, log-in to online retailers and have their products shipped to their doorstep. – Taking business and dollars away from New York’s local storeowners.
  • New York’s small business community – like bodega owners, local grocers, and small store owners – have a hard enough time just running their businesses day in and day out.
  • Now the city wants to turn to them and tell them to clear their shelves of a product their customers ask for or else pay thousands of dollars in fines.
  • It’s a burden that many can’t bear and one that none of them should have to face.
  • In short, this ban on a perfectly safe product puts thousands of businesses in jeopardy.

Removing flushable wipes from the system will not solve wastewater blockages.

  • Legislation 666-A is not an appropriate solution to addressing an excessive debris problem that is mostly comprised of products other than wipes.
  • This effort is misguided and could potentially cause serious environmental damage, effectively worsening the problem it seeks to address.
  • As many as 23% of households use flushable wipes for bathroom hygiene.
  • And data shows that once consumers begin using wipes, they do not change their behavior back to using paper alone.
  • By moving forward with legislation such as Intro 666-A in NYC, consumer behavior will shift in a way that will actually make the problem much worse – removing flushable products from store shelves will result in more consumers using non-flushable products in their place, and those products do cause sewer system problems and should NOT be flushed.
  • Legislation is a “nanny state” attempt to tell consumers what they should and should not be doing in their bathroom.
  • Legislators should remove themselves from citizens’ homes and continue to allow them to have the freedom of choice in using a product that is safe – safe for purchase, safe for use and safe for appropriate disposal through flushing.

Science and data clearly demonstrate flushable wipes are an effective, safe product to use and flush.

  • In New York City, flushable wipes only account for less than 2% of the debris found on screens.
  • 98 percent is other non-flushable material – an overwhelming number that clearly proves flushable wipes are not the problem or culprit.
  • Nearly half of items found in the system were non-flushable paper like paper towels.
  • The real problem is that when so many items that aren’t flushable and can’t break down clog the system, it causes such a problem that other material including flushable wipes and toilet paper also end up being caught.
  • Blaming flushable wipes for clogs and backups is like blaming the 8th car caught up in a 10-car pileup for the accident.
  • To be clear: not all wipes are the same – only 7 percent of consumer wipes sold are actually marketed as “flushable”.
  • These products are specifically made with cellulosic fibers and are designed to break down in wastewater systems making them flush-friendly.
  • Additionally, they must pass multiple stringent tests before they can be labeled as flushable.
  • These tests validate the essential strength-release, non-clogging, non-floating, and degradability properties of the wipe to ensure it causes no harm to wastewater systems.