What is the financial impact of flushed wipes on clean water utilities?
This report provides an estimate of the increased operating costs for utilities nationwide, with costs also estimated for each state.Download Full ReportDownload Executive Summary
There are no federal regulations regarding the use of the word “flushable” on packages of wipes or other products, and disposal instructions for wipes are often not clear. That’s why some states are looking at making their own laws about labeling wipes.
State Wipes Laws
The first state in the U.S. with a wipes law! Washington’s law, passed in 2020, requires that non-flushable wipes be labeled with a clear “Do Not Flush” logo, and specifies the size, contrast, and placement of the logo on packaging.Learn More
California’s 2021 law requires “Do Not Flush” labeling similar to Oregon and Illinois, and also includes a requirement for wipes manufacturers to educate the public about the proper disposal of wipes.Learn More
District of Columbia
The 2016 DC wipes law requires the development of regulations for “Do Not Flush” labeling and for determining the flushability of wipes. The regulations have not yet been finalized.Learn More
Oregon’s law, passed in 2021, requires both the phrase “Do Not Flush” and the “Do Not Flush” logo on packages of non-flushable wipes.Learn More
The Illinois law, passed in 2021, is similar to Oregon’s, with the “Do Not Flush” logo and phrase requirement for non-flushable wipes.Learn More
The 2023 Colorado law will require the “Do Not Flush” logo and phrase on all non-flushable wipes sold in the state by the end of the year.Learn More
The current Massachusetts bill is similar to California’s law, with requirements for wipes manufacturers to conduct public education and use “Do Not Flush” labeling on non-flushable wipes.Learn More
Rhode Island’s bill would require “Do Not Flush” labeling on non-flushable wipes.Learn More
This bill would prohibit the sale of non-flushable wipes, such as baby wipes, in the state. Businesses could also be held financially liable for damages caused by flushed wipes.Learn More
This bill would ban the sale of any wipe labeled “flushable.” The bill has passed out of the state’s Energy and Environmental Protection Committee. (HB268 HD1)Learn More
Interested in Wipes Legislation for Your State?
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has developed model state legislation and a white paper explaining the legal issues involved with wipes legislation. Contact Cynthia Finley for more information.