In response to a rise in fatbergs and growing concerns over plastic pollution collecting in sewers and oceans, Bristol-based personal care company, Natracare, has launched Europe’s first truly flushable Moist Tissue wipe.
Second, Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue is the first and only product to be certified to Water UK’s Fine to Flush specification.
This new innovation has been backed by water and sewerage companies, who spend £100m a year to fix over 366,000 blockages. This cost is inevitably passed onto customers – which means that every single household in the UK pays the price of clearing these gigantic and putrid masses from underneath our cities.
Fatbergs? More like Baby-Wipe-Bergs
In 2017, a 250-metre long fatberg was discovered in Whitechapel, London, which weighed as much as nineteen elephants. Then early in 2019, a 64-metre fatberg which was discovered blocking a sewer in Sidmouth, Devon.
If you consider that 93% of the mass of fatbergs is made up from baby wipes, bound together with fat and grease from kitchens, Natracare’s latest innovation feels like a very important step in the right direction.
Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissues have passed stringent tests that check for the extent of break up in the drain and sewer system. These tests also look for residues that could contaminate rivers, estuaries and the sea. This product is plastic-free, compostable and made with natural and organic ingredients – as are the rest of the products in Natracare’s range
Water UK – Defining what’s Fine to Flush
Water UK’s Fine to Flush certification has been designed to clarify what is truly flushable and what isn’t – many wipes on the market that claim to be ‘flushable’ are actually full of plastics or wood pulps that don’t break down sufficiently in the sewers.
Water UK developed the standard together with the Water Research Centre (WRc) and water companies across the UK. The Water Research Centre (WRc) undertakes the Fine to Flush testing.
Andy Drinkwater, the WRc’s lead engineer for Sewage and Flooding, commented: “Wet wipes along with fat, oils and grease have been a major issue for water and sewerage companies. Our new universal standard accurately analyses what is happening in the drains so that consumers can be better informed of what products are safe to flush.”
Rachel Dyson, who runs Anglian Water’s Keep it Clear Programme, and leads on sewer blockage prevention for the UK water industry, says: “Many people are unaware that conventional moist toilet wipes have not passed water industry testing and should not be flushed. A moist toilet paper that meets UK water industry tests is a real game changer and we hope many other companies will follow this lead. However, baby wipes and other wipes displaying a Do Not Flush logo remain the main type of wipe found in sewer blockages that can lead to flooding.”
“We’re working with organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and Natracare to raise awareness of the environmental and social issues caused by flushing such waste. We hope this new Fine to Flush specification and biodegradable wet wipe will be an important step forward in the battle against blockages.”
The Three Ps
Since fatbergs have become a point of public concern, you may have heard the slogan, ‘Only Flush the Three Ps – Pee, Poo and Paper’
Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue gets a gold star as it’s made from reinforced paper, which has been sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Susie Hewson, Natracare’s founder and director commented: “For the longest time, big toilet paper brands have been pedalling products with hidden plastics that claim to be ‘flushable’. We hope Water UK’s new standard will create more transparency – which will lead to less plastic pollution.”
“The global wipe market is valued at around £450bn a year and shows no signs of slowing down. We can’t bury our heads in the sand about the issue of single use plastics, and wipes are certainly no exception to this. I’m proud that from the very beginning, Natracare has been a solutions-focused brand. It’s taken us three years to develop it, but we’re very pleased to finally get this product out there.”
Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissues can be found in Waitrose, online at Ocado and through independent health stores around the UK. They retail at £1.99 for a pack of 30. See Natracare’s website for information about stockists.
You can find more information on the Natracare website at www.Natracare.com