Bristol-based personal care company Natracare has launched what it claims is Europe’s first truly flushable moist tissue wipe, citing the new product as a response to a rise in fatbergs and growing concerns over plastic pollution in sewers and oceans.
In a world where 14,000 wipes are used every second, Natracare’s Safe to Flush Moist Tissue is seemingly the first and only product so far to be certified to Water UK’s Fine to Flush specification.
The new wipe 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.
According to Natracare, the 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.
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.”
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.