INDA, EDANA help Australia formulate National Flushability Standard

June 08, 2022 - Australia

Standards Australia recently released a new national standard that builds on the test methods and criteria of the INDA/EDANA Flushability Guidance Document, Fourth Edition (GD4). It also includes a new user-friendly labeling approach to indicate what products can be flushed down the toilet.

INDA and EDANA – the two leading nonwoven trade associations representing consumer wipes manufacturers and supply chains – issued a copyright license for the testing method under a collaborative agreement with Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). Australia and New Zealand manufacturers will now follow the same rigorous seven-test process established by INDA and EDANA, with minor modifications, to determine which wipes can be safely flushed in Australia and New Zealand, the two associations said in a media release.

WSAA worked with Standards Australia – the country’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards organisation – to develop the new standard in response to increasing blockages experienced by water utilities and customers across Australia.

The standard specifies test methods and criteria for determining if products are suitable for disposal by flushing them down a toilet and provides guidance on labelling and marking of these products. Toilet paper, liquids and soluble products are excluded.

“It is exciting to see the release of this Australian and New Zealand Standard which has been many years in the making. One of the first-of-its-kind internationally, this standard is the result of ground-breaking collaboration between manufacturers, water utilities, peak bodies and consumer groups,” said Adam Lovell, executive director, WSAA.

“While the standard is voluntary, it provides manufacturers with clear pass/fail criteria for products suitable for toilet flushing,” he said. “Importantly, it includes requirements for clearer labelling so customers know for certain whether a product is safe for flushing.”

Established in 2018, the GD4 test methods were the result of collaboration between INDA and EDANA based on the pooled technical expertise of individual companies, academia, consultants and the wastewater industry.

The Australia standard adopts a new, positive approach to the labelling of flushable wipes and other products with a symbol indicating ‘OK to Flush’ with no further labelling requirements for non-flushable wipes. The INDA/EDANA approach calls for labelling all non-flushable wipes with a ‘Do Not Flush’ symbol and enabling GD4-compliant wipes to use the claim ‘Flushable’.