The fine to Flush accreditation is set to end in March 2024

The fine to Flush accreditation is set to end in March 2024

Written by Caleb Johnson

Back in 2019, wet wipe manufacturers and water companies got together in a lovely little huddle to create a standard by which wet wipes could be labelled ‘Fine to Flush’. The accreditation was touted as being revolutionary; a small step for nonwovens (fancy name for wet wipes), a huge step for mankind, and so forth. The nature of the certification was a technical standard against which wet wipes products would be tested under laboratory conditions, mimicking the real-world forces of the sewers.

Despite their efforts, these flushable facades have been found to be 100 times more likely to cause a sewer blockage than toilet paper alone. Furthermore, it has been widely reported that the ‘Fine to Flush’ message is confusing, and ineffective at providing useful instruction on how to properly dispose of the nasty things. 

Woman holding fatberg caused by wet wipes
© Adrian Dennis

 

After years of continuous sewer issues, copious water company fines and countless government reviews on a wet wipe ban, Water UK finally announced that the Fine to Flush certification will end in March 2024. 

We’re certain you likely know someone who knows someone who flushes wipes, after all, 1 in 5 of us do in the UK! 

Let’s jump in and pull the chain on what Fine to Flush is, why it’s coming to an end, and what that means for wet wipe users. 

First off, why has it been kept so hush hush? 

The coverage on this, apart from short paragraphs hidden in corners of websites that only a sleuthing Wype team member would find, has been few and far between. But with such an impactful change, and 71% of us with wet wipes in our homes, shouldn’t there be more noise around this? 

There’s cause for concern for a couple of reasons. (1) What will happen to the wet wipes people are using; will they still be allowed to use the ‘Fine to Flush’ label, or is this about not letting any other brands pursue the accreditation? (2) Does the public have a right to know why the accreditation is being discontinued, and what this tells us about flushable wipes? 

That’s why we’re here to shout about what’s going on, because not many others seem to want to! 

Therese Coffey’s war on wet wipes 

It all started with our gal Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of Environment at the time. She saw the devastation being caused by wet wipes that were being flushed, and consequently creating sewer blockages & fatbergs.  

She said that "labels saying ‘flushable’ or ‘fine to flush’ may encourage consumers to dispose of wipes down the toilet, rather than disposing of them responsibly in the bin.” This led to her pursuing the ban on plastic wet wipes in the UK, which went under consultation by the Government in October 2023 and closed at the end of November. We’re yet to hear anything on this. 

Soon after, Water UK announced the ultimate downfall of Fine to Flush at the end of September. All in all, it’s not looking great for wipes in general.  

It’s clear that it’s time for a change, and Water UK has taken the initiative in proposing a solution to the public following Coffey’s statements on flushable wipes.  

What is the Bin the Wipe Campaign? 

 

Water UK has partnered with water companies to bring forward a new campaign. Bin the Wipe! 

They’re encouraging wet wipe users to pop their used wet wipes into the bin after use. Their aim is to prevent any more wet wipes from being flushed. However, as with everything, this isn’t as ideal as one would hope. They’ve found through a survey that less than half of people have a bin in their toilet.  

Although buying a bin and putting your soiled wet wipes in it can help to cut down on the £200 million cost of clearing up the mess that flushed wipes cause, is it really worth it? Is the best solution really to take an archaic step back to withholding buckets full of poop in our homes?

We’ve all found ourselves in that dodgy toilet on a Greek holiday with the dreaded ‘don’t flush toilet paper’ sign above the toilet at one point or another. Forget toilet roll, it’s usually our eyes that end up rolling. 

Although there’s promise in Bin the Wipe, with 60% less blockages in pilot areas (through a behavioural intervention that had a reminder in their bathroom to bin the wipe instead of flushing it), we can all probably say we’d rather not have these pots of poop in our bathrooms.  

But what if we didn’t even have to think about hoarding our poopy petticoats in the bathroom at all? 

How can I still wipe and flush while keeping clean? 

With Wype, you can clean your cake and flush the loo! 

Wype was created to be a sustainable alternative to wet wipes that loves your bottom as much as you do (or more!). It’s completely flushable, and will break down just as fast as your toilet paper. Not only that, but it’s better for the sensitive skin around your tush than wet wipes are, thanks to our natural and organic formula enriched with powerful botanicals that leave you feeling soothed and moisturised, as well as squeaky clean! 

We’re all about helping you do your bit in the most convenient way possible, so you can say goodbye to the thought of keeping soiled serviettes in your toilet bin, and hello to a simple and easy clean that’s safe to flush down the loo.  

Be ahead of the curve, say goodbye to clogged pipes, and hello to the Wype Starter Kit. 

Try it here! 

What will happen to wet wipes now that Fine to Flush is done? 

The information about what happens once fine to flush ends is limited, and you know that if we had it, we’d give it to you. All we know for sure is that the accreditation will be leaving our shelves in March 2024, and the rest is up to the butt wiping gods. 

For the time being, we’ll continue to keep you updated, provide you with all the relevant information, and keep on supplying you with this truly flushable toilet paper gel! 

4 Comments

  • Susan

    Thank you for this info, I don’t flush these (flushable) I put into a nice smelling baby poo bag in bathroom bin, then pop into outside bin , people should realise its doesn’t say what it does on the packet , once again thank you for giving us this important information 😊

  • Joshua Wilson

    Government should approve the use of wype instead of wet wipes.

  • Susan

    Before I discovered Wype, we had a bin and flushing wet wipes has been banned in our house for years.

  • Janis

    Very glad to hear this I did use flushable wipes at one time but have been using wype gel for some time now. It is so much better than wipes as it is a very soothing gel. The bottle lasts for ages and it is not expensive I would never use anything else now especially with it being so much more sustainable. Try it I promise you will never go back.

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