This is important because while overall wipes usage has increased at a rate of 10% per year, flushable wipes only make up roughly 5% of the overall wipes category," according to experts. Yet, wastewater treatment facilities face increased challenges as a result of non-flushable wipes products entering treatment systems through toilets, which leads to clogging and other negative effects on wastewater collection and treatment systems that can increases costs and the risk for sewer spills.
NSF International’s Flushable Consumer Products Certification Program - the only program of its kind - addresses these concerns through providing third-party verification of flushability claims against recognized industry standards for flushable products. Certified flushable products will bear the “NSF Certified Flushable” Mark, demonstrating compliance with NSF’s stringent criteria. The Mark indicates whether certified products are suitable for a sewer system, a septic system or both. Products covered by the program include nonwoven consumer products such as baby/adult wipes and napkins.
To earn certification, SCA partnered with wipes maker Rockline Industries, which manufactures TENA Flushable Washcloths. NSF scientists tested product samples provided by Rockline to ensure they meet the requirements of the program. Rockline’s facilities were also subject to an audit to verify that products are being manufactured to approved specifications and adhere to proper safety and quality checks.
“TENA brand Flushable Washcloths continue SCA’s tradition of innovation and commitment to environmental responsibility. NSF Flushable Product Certification provides assurance to our customers, regulators and the public that our TENA Flushable Washcloths have been tested by an independent third party and found compatible with wastewater collection and treatment systems,” says Tor Lund, head of SCA Personal Care North America Marketing.
“The NSF Flushable Consumer Products Certification Program complements our 30-year history of providing wastewater treatment certification, compostability, and sustainability services,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division. “SCA and Rockline are leading the way for their industry, demonstrating their commitment to supporting safer wastewater treatment systems through eliminating confusion in the marketplace regarding flushable products.”
The NSF Flushable Products Certification Program evaluates products against a rigorous flushability guidance document developed by industry experts from the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) and European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDNA). This document, called “The Guidance Document for Assessing the Flushability of Nonwoven Consumer Products,” provides a comprehensive framework and test methods for evaluating flushability characteristics.
NSF’s Flushable Consumer Products Certification program is offered through NSF International’s Sustainability division and includes:
• Testing of product samples to ensure they meet the requirements of the guidance document. This testing is conducted using a flushability rig that was custom-built to the test methods outlined in the guidance document. This includes various drainline slopes, toilets and pipe diameters used in both the US and European plumbing systems.
• Facility inspections to verify that products are being manufactured to approved specifications and adhere to proper safety and quality checks.