Standards Australia released on May 23 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.
WSAA worked with Standards Australia – the country’s leading independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit standards organization – 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 also provides guidance on labeling 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 labeling so customers know for certain whether a product is safe for flushing.”
GD4 Guidelines Help Set Direction
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.
“We are pleased to receive this validation of our GD4 test methods and evaluation approach,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President Emeritus. “This collaborative copyright licensing agreement has expanded the use of the technical approach and test methodologies that have been successfully used by manufacturers for the past four years and continue to help consumers and communities reduce the burden on wastewater infrastructure from the flushing of products not designed to be flushed.”
“I’m pleased to echo Dave Rousse”, said Marines Lagemaat, Technical Director EDANA. “We welcome Standards Australia to adopt the GD4 approach in their new national standard and look forward to expanding the use of the INDA/EDANA proven technology even further.”
New Labeling Approach
The Australia standard adopts a new, positive approach to the labeling of flushable wipes and other products with a symbol indicating “OK to Flush” with no further labeling requirements for non-flushable wipes. The INDA/EDANA approach calls for labeling all non-flushable wipes with a “Do Not Flush” symbol and enabling GD4-compliant wipes to use the claim “Flushable.”