What started as a convenient way to clean your baby’s tush has expanded over the last decade into a multi-billion-dollar industry. We are talking about disposable wipes.
These days there are disposable wipes for just about everything! Baby wipes, makeup remover wipes, intimate wipes, disinfecting wipes, general cleaning wipes, pet wipes, grease wipes and moist towelettes. And what’s not to love? I have certainly come home after a long day of work with no energy to go through the motions of my rigorous face-cleansing routine. So, what do I do? I grab my trusty makeup remover wipes and what do you know, I’ve freed up my evening to catch up on some Real Housewives.
You see, the problem is not necessarily the wipe itself, but it’s improper disposal.
Just because it says “flushable” or “septic safe” doesn’t mean that it is. Regrettably, disposable wipes do not break down like toilet paper but, instead, act as nets that catch everything else that is flushed away. Do you remember the 17-TON FATBERG we discussed in a previous post? Well, it was specifically the result of fat, grease and, you guessed it, “flushable” wipes!
Unfortunately, there is no regulation in Canada surrounding the use of the word “flushable” so consumers have been misled for a long time. According to the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group (MESUG), Canadians spend $250M annually to clean up clogs caused by flushable wipes and, in 2016, the average cost to homeowners to repair sewer backups was $21,852.15 per household!
You can save yourself a lot of time, money and disruption by disposing of ALL wipes in the trash. But while disposing them in the trash is better than flushing them, it brings another set of issues that have unfortunate environmental impacts.
Did you know that some disposable wipes are made with some form of plastic? Not only is this harmful to our health, but these materials decompose at a slow rate meaning they can live in our landfills for up to 500 years before they start to deteriorate. If you’re going to use them, I would suggest using disposable wipes made from cotton, so you can save your health, money, time and our environment.
Until next time, folks.
If you need me. I’ll be drinking up the tea that Kim and Nene are spilling.
Remember, you can only flush the 3 P’s: Pee, Poop, Toilet Paper