Aldi toilet wipes certified as ‘fine to flush’ by Water UK
Supermarket Aldi has confirmed that its range of moist toilet tissues and toddler toilet wipes have been certified by Water UK as safe to flush down the toilet, citing that they won't contribute to sewer blockages or environmental waste.
Aldi, which is working towards making 100% of its own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, has been awarded Water UK’s Fine to Flush standard and will feature the relevant symbol on packs of Aldi Moist Toilet Tissue and Mamia Sensitive Toddler Toilet Wipes.
Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ certification symbolises that flushing them won’t contribute to damage to UK sewers.
Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi said: “Fatbergs and other blockages are a significant problem in the UK and elsewhere and are most commonly caused by people flushing wipes and other non-biodegradable products down toilets.
“We have been working closely with our suppliers and Water UK for some time, and are pleased to be one of the first supermarkets to ensure the materials in our full range of toilet wipes and tissues easily break down in wastewater and can pass these tough new tests.”
More than 14.8 billion baby wipes are used in the UK every year, many of which end up in waterways, oceans and wastewater systems. In fact, wet wipes made up more than 90% of the material causing sewer blockages investigated by Water UK in 2017.
Further investigations by the body found that wipes are now found in 60 to 75% of sewer blockages. Thames Water, for example, clears about 75,000 blockages from its network of sewers each year, costing an average of £18m.
Water UK’s chief executive Christine McGourty added: “This is a big step forward in the fight against fatbergs, and Aldi should be congratulated on achieving the official ‘Fine to Flush’ standard. Improving the environment is at the core of what the water industry does, and the ‘Fine to Flush’ standard makes it easier for consumers to buy an environmentally friendly product instead of one which clogs up drains and sewers. If a wipe isn’t ‘Fine to Flush’ it should go in the bin.”
In February, British toiletries brand Andrex announced that its washlet wipes range had achieved Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ certification.
Andrex, owned by American corporate giant Kimberly-Clark, has placed the Fine to Flush logo on its Washlet products. The wipes were independently tested by technical experts WRc, with the results finding that the products break down upon entering UK sewer systems and won’t contribute to “fatbergs” that clog up sewer systems or seep into the natural environment.
Andrex estimates that around six million UK households purchased wipes in the last 12 months, with 50% choosing its Andrex Washlets range. The new products are biodegradable and contain 0% plastic and 100% natural fibres.