Washington State Introduces “Do Not Flush” Labeling Rules for Some Disposable Wipes

Washington has become the first US state to mandate the requirement that certain disposable wipes must carry a ‘Do Not Flush’ label.

Signed into law in early 2020, the legislation covers premoistened wipes constructed from nonwoven sheets and which are designed and marketed for use during:
• Diapering
• Personal hygiene
• Cleaning household hard surfaces

Products that are excluded from the regulation include those that are designed or marketed for cleaning or medicating the anorectal or vaginal areas on the human body. These must be labeled:
• Flushable
• Sewer safe
• Septic safe
• Or have an indication that product is appropriate for disposal in a toilet

Under the new labeling requirements, the ‘Do Not Flush’ symbol, or a gender equivalent, must be on the packaging. This is described in the INDA/EDANA code of practice 2.

The symbol must be displayed prominently, so that the consumer will see it every time the product is used. It must also cover at least 2% of the surface area of the principal display board, and must not be obscured by seams, folds, or other design elements. Finally, it must also be printed in a way that is sufficiently high contrast as to be readable.

The new law requires compliance by July 1, 2022, with products that are regulated as pesticides under the EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) having an additional year for compliance – until July 1, 2023. Products that are manufactured before the effective date can be sold until January 1, 2023.

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