ACCC investigation results in penalties for ‘flushable’ wipes manufacturer

Media Release

12 April 2018

ACCC investigation results in penalties for ‘flushable’ wipes manufacturer.

Sydney Water has welcomed a $700,000 penalty by the Federal Court of Australia against the manufacturer of ‘flushable’ wipes Pental.

The ACCC instituted proceedings in the Federal Court in December 2016 against Pental Limited and Pental Products Pty Ltd, alleging false or misleading representations in relation to ‘flushable’ wipes marketed and supplied in Australia.

Sydney Water spokesman Jackson Vernon has commended the ACCC’s investigation and resulting penalties.

'This action comes after Sydney Water’s award-winning campaign to ‘keep wipes out of pipes’ which sparked a broader conversation about what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, Mr Vernon said.

'Blockages caused by bathroom products have been a big issue for water utilities and their customers across Australia for several years. It’s costing the community millions of dollars every year to deal with the blockages these products cause in the wastewater system.

Mr Vernon said Sydney Water is now calling on the rest of the wipes manufacturing and retail industry to include prominent ‘do not flush’ messaging on the packaging of their bathroom products.

'The international water industry has collectively committed to a position statement that all wipes and personal hygiene products should be clearly marked “Do Not Flush” and be disposed of in the bin. This position statement is supported by over 300 utilities and non-government organisations from 23 countries,' Mr Vernon said.

'Sydney Water hopes this judgement reinforces our message to the community that wipes should not go down toilets and drains and we support any moves by manufacturers that help in this area.'

'The inclusion of a ‘do not flush’ message on the packaging will assist customers seeking to use and dispose of wipes products appropriately. This will also assist our customers who ultimately pick up the cost of extra maintenance and repair bills caused by the inappropriate flushing of bathroom products.

'In the meantime, remember the three Ps – the only things that you should flush down your toilet are pee, poo and (toilet) paper!'

More information about the case is available on ACCC’s website