Disposing of 'flushable' wipes back to Tips & Advice

Disposing of 'flushable' wipes

Consumer NZ says it wants flushable wipes' manufacturers to drop claims that they are flushable. This follows a Consumer test of 11 flushable wipes, which found they don’t break down readily

Master Plumbers' CEO Greg Wallace says the testing he’s aware of has been done using new PVC pipes in a lab environment, which is not reflective of most New Zealand pipes.

“Flushable wipes may not be such an issue in new suburbs which have PVC pipes but the majority of New Zealand homes have old earthenware or clay pipes," he told Consumer NZ. "These are highly susceptible to ground movement and tree roots and these imperfections mean the wipes grab and stick and may cause a blockage.”

Unblocking a drain can cost a homeowner about $200.

The wipes have also caused problems at wastewater treatment plants, adding to local council maintenance bills.

Consumer NZ advises consumers using these products to bin them rather than flush them.