Safe to flush: Natracare launches Europe’s first flushable wipe

In response to a rise in fatbergs and growing concerns over plastic pollution collecting in sewers and oceans, organic personal hygiene company Natracare is launching Europe’s first truly flushable Moist Tissue wipe.

This will come as a relief to water and sewerage companies who spend £100m a year to fix over 366,000 sewage blockages; a cost that is inevitably passed on to customers.

Many wipes available on the market contain hidden plastics and claim to be flushable when in reality they’re blocking sewers and drains. Water UK recently announced a new universal testing specification for wet wipes, in an attempt to clarify what can safely be flushed down the toilet. This follows much understandable confusion – many wipes that claim to be ‘flushable’ are actually full of plastics or wood pulps that don’t break up sufficiently.

The new Natracare Moist Tissues are the first and only wipes to achieve the Water UK requirements. They have passed stringent tests that check for the extent of break up in the drain and sewer system. These tests also look for plastics and residuals that could contaminate rivers, estuaries and the sea. The Safe to Flush wipes are 100% plastic free, compostable and made with natural and organic ingredients.

Suitable for all skin types, including babies and young children, the gentle moist tissues are hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Since wipes were first introduced into the UK 60 years ago, they have become popular with parents of young children; women who are menstruating; elderly people; disabled people and their carers, and those who find it painful or difficult to wipewith paper. The global market is said to be worth an estimated £450bn a year – with around 14,000 wet wipes used every second.

Susie Hewson, Natracare’s founder and director comments: “For the longest time, big toilet paper brands have been pedaling products with hidden plastics that claim to be ‘flushable’. We hope Water UK’s new standard and our new organic flushable moist tissue will create more transparency – which will lead to less plastic pollution. The industry said it could never be achieved. We are pleased to have proved them totally wrong.”

Rachel Dyson, who runs Anglian Water’s Keep it Clear Programme, and leads on sewer blockage prevention for the UK water industry, says: “Many people are unaware that conventional moist toilet wipes have not passed water industry testing and should not be flushed. A moist toilet paper that meets UK water industry tests is a real game changer and we hope many other companies will follow this lead. However, baby wipes and other wipes displaying a Do Not Flush logo remain the main type of wipe found in sewer blockages that can lead to flooding.”

“We’re working with organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and Natracare to raise awareness of the environmental and social issues caused by flushing such waste. We hope this new Fine to Flush specification and biodegradable wet wipe will be an important step forward in the battle against blockages.”

Andy Drinkwater, lead engineer for Sewage and Flooding at the Water Research Centre (WRc), comments: “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.”

Natracare Safe to Flush Moist Tissues can be found in Waitrose and online at Ocado from March and will be available 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.

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