SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – (COMMERCIAL THREAD– Governor JB Pritzker on Friday enacted Senate Bill 294, known as the Wipes Labeling Act, which now requires manufacturers of disposable household wipes for sale in the state of Illinois to clearly label “Do not rinse” on wipes that should not be flushed down the toilet. The law will come into force on July 1, 2022.
The bill was first introduced in February 2021 and received broad support from Illinois wastewater treatment agencies as well as organizations in the wipe industry. Illinois is one of the affected states where municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced increased volumes of wipes in their sewage and treatment systems that contribute to congestion and other operational disruptions.
“The impact of non-disposable wipes on public sewer systems is becoming more problematic and costly for taxpayers every day,” said Brandon Janes, president of the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies. “We are proud to have worked with our partners in the wipe manufacturing industry to put Illinois at the forefront of the nation in solving this serious problem. ”
Illinois is the third state to enact non-disposable wipe labeling legislation. In June, similar legislation was passed in Oregon, continuing the momentum around the Responsible Flushing Alliance’s campaign to equip consumers with more tools to make responsible flushing decisions. Washington state was the first to enact wipe legislation in March 2020.
“Clearly visible disposal labeling is essential in educating consumers about disposable and non-disposable products, and we are pleased that this legislation has been passed in Illinois,” said Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance. “Through our #FlushSmart consumer education initiatives, the Responsible Flushing Alliance advocates the same public awareness of smart flushing habits that is championed in this legislation. Clear labeling is an essential step in helping consumers adopt responsible rinsing habits, which in turn leads to healthier homes and communities for all of us. ”
Launched this year, the national #FlushSmart campaign asks consumers to look for the “Do Not Rinse” symbol on product packaging and labeling to identify materials that should not be flushed down the toilet.
Some examples of non-disposable wipes that warrant Do Not Rinse labeling include baby wipes, cosmetic or face wipes, hard surface cleaning or disinfecting wipes, floor cleaning wipes, makeup wipes and bath wipes. There are also non-disposable items that contribute to clogs that should not be rinsed, such as paper towels, menstrual products, cotton swabs, dental floss, rags, FOG (fat / oil / grease) .
About the Responsible Rinsing Alliance
The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501 (c) (6) nonprofit dedicated to educating consumers and focused on what should and should not be flushed. We are a coalition of trade associations, wipe manufacturing companies and non-profit organizations committed to educating consumers about responsible and smart rinsing habits. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our country’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.
Members of the Alliance for Responsible Flushing Coalition
Albaad, ANDRITZ, Dude Products, Essity, First Quality, Georgia Pacific, Johnson & Johnson, Jacob Holm, Kelheim Fibers, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nehemiah Manufacturing, Nice-Pak, Procter & Gamble, Rockline Industries, Sellars Nonwovens and Suominen Corp.
About the Illinois Association of Wastewater Treatment Agencies
The Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies (IAWA) is an organization that represents over 80 years of transition and growth of the well-known and respected Illinois Association of Sanitary Districts. The IAWA strives to meet the needs of administrators and managers concerned with clean waterways and responsible for wastewater collection and treatment in the State of Illinois.