California governor signs new law requiring easier-to-find disposal labeling for wet wipes
SACRAMENTO, CA, October 7, 2021-
Today Governor Newsom signed AB 818 by Assembly Member Richard Bloom into law, requiring all packaging for diaper wipes, cleaning wipes, and cosmetic wipes to display clear “Do Not Flush” warnings. The bill is the result of a three-year effort between representatives from wastewater and product stewardship groups and wipes manufacturers to address an urgent pollution problem that has plagued public wastewater infrastructure. The legislation establishes disposal labeling requirements for wet wipes packaging and requires manufacturers of wipes to educate the public on the impacts of flushing wipes improperly.
The wastewater sector has shouldered the burden of managing debris from improper disposal of wipes and other trash into their systems for years. One recent national study estimates that California agencies spend around $50 million annually to remove wipes from the sewers. “This is a major step forward in the wastewater industry’s fight to keep wipes intended for the trash can out of our public sewer systems” said Jessica Gauger, Director of Legislative Advocacy and Public Affairs for CASA, a statewide trade association representing public wastewater agencies. “Through the leadership of Assembly Member Bloom, the wipes industry has taken a major step forward in addressing consumer confusion about improper disposal of these products which has been a major contributor to debris in our systems. Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders we have found a solution to provide clarity to consumers, which we are hopeful will result in a decrease in wipes being flushed.”
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