We’re a nation of convenience. We always have something on our plates, some place to go, something to do. And because of it, we’re always looking for products that make our lives just a little easier.
That’s how baby wipes were invented. What could be more convenient than having clean flushable wipes for keeping messes off of your little one? And they come in convenient pouches that mean you can take them anywhere … and dispose of them anywhere.
People have been using baby wipes – flushable wipes – for years. Yet just because they use the terms “flushable” and “disposable” doesn’t necessarily make them so.
Talk with any municipal waste system employee, and you will hear of the perils of flushing nondispersible items. It can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars to clear clogs caused by these items, and unfortunately its becoming more commonplace every day.
What’s the difference between flushable wipes and toilet paper? Actually, quite a bit.
Toilet paper is made with paper that begins breaking down the moment its wet. Not so with flushable wipes. They are stronger with a tighter weave designed to give you strength for cleaning up. Consumer Reports tested flushable wipes against toilet paper to see the difference. Toilet paper turned into shreds just by being placed in water with a small whirlpool. Flushable wipes didn’t fare as well. After 10 minutes in an electric food mixer, the wipe was still intact.
Now imagine that in a small pipe making its way down stream. Or over a screen designed to separate particles in our municipal waste system. Big problem, right?
Flushable wipes are now one of the most common items flushed that shouldn’t be, but it isn’t the only thing. Right behind it in both amount and problems are paper towels and tampons. Both are designed with packaging that promises “disposable” yet takes time for the process to actually occur.
One may not seem like a big deal. Yet in urban areas, one turns into many very quickly, and that’s where the problem lies.
Don’t flush doesn’t mean don’t use. Instead, it simply means thinking differently when it comes to disposing. Keep a trash can handy and dispose of all nondispersible items in the trash, not by a flush. It takes very little effort, yet can save you time, money and resources down the road by avoiding a potential problem.
When in doubt, don’t flush it down.