We applaud new ANDREX® WASHLETS™ being ‘Fine to Flush’

Andrex®, one of the UK’s largest household names, is the latest brand to receive Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ certification, and we are delighted with this huge step forward for the industry.

The certification, which scientifically tests whether flushable wipes can be flushed down toilets and pass safely through sewer systems, will sit across the full Andrex® Washlets range.   

Grant Mitchell, Severn Trent’s Sewer Blockages Lead, explains: “This is fantastic news for the wipes and washlets world, and we’re really happy to see these new products being brought to market.  For many, many years we’ve been trying to explain the damage and problems that can be caused by people flushing wipes into the sewer system.  So it’s great to see the manufacturers listening and getting on board.  What we need now, is for other manufacturers to follow and then hopefully soon we may see a huge decrease in sewer blockages.

“Wipes, along with other items that shouldn’t be flushed, such as leftover fat from cooking, cotton buds and nappies, are a huge issue for us at Severn Trent.  They very easily get caught in the sewer pipes, creating a blockage, and causing the sewage to back up and potentially escape into homes and gardens, causing damage to property and the environment.  It’s one of the worst things that can happen in your home and it’s entirely preventable.”

Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ accreditation comes at a time when recent investigations into the UK sewer system discovered that wipes (such as baby wipes, cosmetic wipes and household cleaning wipes) are typically found in 60 to 75% of sewer blockages.  Severn Trent alone clears around 50,000 blockages from its network of sewers each year.

The new Andrex Washlets disperse faster than the previous product making them easier to break down for the UK sewer systems. What’s more the products continue to be  biodegradable, made from 100% natural fibres and contain 0% plastic.

Over the past 12 months, a massive six million households in the UK have purchased moist toilet tissues, over three million of which have chosen Andrex Washlets when doing so. This means one in two households that are purchasing moist toilet tissue will now be choosing products deemed safe by Water UK for the sewer system.

The scientific testing is carried out by WRc, the independent technical experts who developed the Fine to Flush flushability standards for Water UK. It is a rigorous seven step process which replicates the conditions of a product once inside the UK sewer system and looks for plastics and residuals that could cause blockages or contaminate rivers and the sea.

Recent consumer insights from Kimberly-Clark, the manufacturer of Andrex, found that over a third of consumers (38%) were concerned with the flushability of moist toilet
tissue and their impact on sewer systems.

Ori Ben Shai, Vice President & Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark UK, said: “Our Andrex® Washlets have adhered to international flushable standards for many years and we are very proud of the investment we have made to now also secure Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ certification. This certification and partnership with Water UK sends a clear message to consumers
that they can confidently use Andrex Washlets for superior cleaning whilst also being responsible towards the environment.”

Christine McGoutry, Chief Executive of Water UK, said: “This is a great step forward in the fight against fatbergs. In the water industry, we’re passionate about protecting the environment, and our ‘Fine to Flush’ standard is part of that, making it easier for consumers to buy something that’s environmentally-friendly. We want other companies to follow the example of
Andrex and make sure their products pass the ‘Fine to Flush’ test too. Everyone wants a future without fatbergs, and this will help make that a reality.”

The new Andrex® Classic Clean Washlets packs carrying the Fine to Flush logo will start to appear on major supermarket shelves imminently (available in Tesco from today – Thurs 27 February), with the logo rolling out across the rest of the Andrex® Washlets range, such as Skin Kind and Gentle Clean, from spring 2020.