INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, has teamed up with the Maine Wastewater Control Association (MWWCA) in an effort to combat a significant contributor to clogs in wastewater system equipment, flushing baby wipes. Baby wipes are not designed to be flushed and can cause sewer backups into homes and also damage equipment at wastewater treatment facilities, potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
INDA and MWWCA kicked off this consumer education campaign with a press conference at the Westbrook Treatment Facility in Maine January 21, 2014. The consumer education program will cover select areas of Maine through various media outlets, i.e., television, newspapers, social media and direct mail. The consumer education campaign theme is “Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes." The intent is to communicate to consumers that some products are designed to be flushed, while other products are not and should be disposed of in the trash can.
Television commercials featuring a game show titled “What the Flush?!?” will begin airing in select areas of Maine. The intent of these television commercials is to show consumers what should and should not be flushed in a humorous, relatable manner. Print advertising around the game show theme will also be distributed.
Dave Rousse, INDA president, says, “The goal of this consumer education program is to raise awareness and change consumer behavior. Consumers may not be aware that simply because the product disappears down the toilet, it doesn’t mean that it is a flushable product. Many products are flushed that shouldn’t be, for example, paper hand towels, feminine hygiene products and non-flushable wipes such as surface cleaning wipes. It is INDA’s intent along with MWWCA that consumers will be able to change their behaviors and ease the burden at wastewater treatment facilities.”