ACCC loses case against wipes manufacturer


In 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed a Federal Court lawsuit against industry-giant Kimberly-Clark. The suit stated that K-C was misleading customers into thinking that their wet wipes were flushable, when in fact they cause significant damage to sewage systems when flushed.

The ACCC ended up losing its appeal in court  – a major disappointment to the global wastewater community. Justice Jacqueline Gleeson stated that while there was ample evidence that wipes products are a problem for sewage systems, there was not enough evidence to say that the direct cause of the problem is specifically from Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths.

To get an idea of just how much of a mess wet wipes create in sewers, a quick internet search in your community will show you that the extent of destruction has become a global issue. According to Sydney Water, about six dry tonnes of wipes are removed from the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant each day.

So, what can you do? For starters, make sure that if you have wipes in your home that they make it into the trash bin at the end of their use. Additionally,  educating your friends, family and community about the damaging effects of wipes on your local sewers can help keep your pipes clear and prevent local tax increases!