Worldwide Disaster: Flushable Wipes

Massive Snake of Flushable Wipes Pulled from Australia Sewer Pipe

Flushable wipes are gaining traction in the news lately, and for good reason. While most all brands of wet wipes describe themselves as “flushable,” there is no overall criteria for what this term means.  Any wipe can label themselves as flushable without being held accountable for its environmental impact.  While the wet wipe industry continues to grow, now valued at $13.2 billion dollars after a steady increase of 6-7% over the last ten years, these wipes are piling up in sewer systems around the world.

Once wipes are flushed down the toilet they don’t disintegrate like normal toilet paper does, meaning they pile up in sewer systems and snag along pipes before gathering in large “fatbergs,” like this one in Australia. This massive collection of wipes weighed over a ton, and needed to be lifted out by crane before being finally cleaned out by hand.  Overall, Australia has removed over 1,000 tons of flushable wipes from their sewers since they were popularized.

From Honolulu, San Francisco and Washington DC to Toronto, London and Sydney, wet wipes flushed down the toilet are causing massive issues for local governments. New York alone has racked up over 18 million dollars in equipment problems over the last 5 years, claiming the volume they are extracting from sewer systems had doubled from 2008 to 2015.

Rather than flushing wipes down the toilet, Action Wipes Action Wipes Repurposed into Blanket! Best Body Wipes on the Marketare meant to be reused, repurposed and recycled… and at the end of their lifetime, thrown away. Action Wipes are durable enough to be machine washed and reused time and time again. For everything from quilts to coasters, Action Wipes can be repurposed in dozens of ways. Just like Patagonia, Life Elements is committed to creating a quality product that stands the test of time, without needing to be constantly replaced. By repurposing Action Wipes, we are doing our part in keeping wet wipes out of sewers and slowing the destruction of our cities.