Fine to Flush gives thumbs up to 100th product

Image: Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Unsplash

UK consumers now have more choice of truly flushable wet wipes as the Fine to Flush campaign has given its 100th product accreditation.

Five of the eight biggest UK supermarkets now stock products carrying the Fine to Flush label, meaning they have undergone rigorous testing to show they break down in UK sewers and do not contain plastic – helping to prevent fatbergs and protect the environment.

Supermarkets Aldi and Tesco have recently gone a step further and even banned the sale of wet wipes containing plastic, paving the way for other supermarkets to follow suit. Water UK, the trade association that represents UK water companies and is behind Fine to Flush, is calling on the public to only flush wipes with its logo.

The 100th accreditation was achieved by John Dale Ltd, a UK manufacturer of hygiene products, including Little Hero Toilet Training wipes. John Dale joins the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Aldi, Morrisons, and market leaders Andrex, in allowing their customers to flush with confidence.

Tried and tested

To gain Fine to Flush accreditation, wet wipes undergo rigorous testing to ensure they will break down when flushed. The standard was launched by 2019 in Water UK and has grown rapidly with just five products gaining accreditation in its first year.

Fatbergs – mainly caused by a build-up of wet wipes, fats, oils and grease into a solid mass – have been increasing in frequency in recent years. Numerous products claim to be flushable but do not disintegrate when flushed into the sewer system. This causes sewer blockages and can cause damage to the environment.

Some 11 billion wet wipes are used every year in the UK, and evidence suggests that they account for over 90% of material in sewer blockages. Water companies spend around £100 million every year clearing more than 300,000 of these blockages.

Christine McGourty, Water UK chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled with the success of our Fine to Flush accreditation, which we launched so consumers could have the choice of more environmentally friendly products.

“It’s great to see that so many companies are joining us in our mission to end the harm that unflushable wet wipes can cause. We’re calling on all manufacturers to follow suit and seek Fine to Flush accreditation for their wipes, to help protect our sewers and environment for generations to come.”

Wet wipes account for over 90% of material in sewer blockages. Image: Anglian Water

"We’re calling on all manufacturers to seek Fine to Flush accreditation for their wipes, to help protect our sewers and environment for generations to come.”

Christine McGourty, Water UK