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Kimberly-Clark Australia’s recent fine over misleading website information has prompted WSAA to again call for clearer labelling of wipes and flushable products for consumers.

The Federal Court ordered Kimberly-Clark Australia to pay a penalty of $200,000 for misleading consumers by falsely representing on its website where the Kleenex Cottonelle ‘flushable cleansing cloths’ were made.

While packaging contained the correct information, the website indicated they were made in Australia, when they were in fact made in Germany, South Korea or the UK. The issue occurred back between October 2015 and February 2016. 

Wipes and other products have had a significant impact on disrupting customer services, creating extra costs for water utilities and customers, and impacting the environment through wastewater overflows. The contribution of wipes to wastewater blockages remains a big issue for water utilities around Australia, and the globe.

WSAA continues to call for clearer labelling for consumers and is leading the development of an Australian Standard for Flushable Products. 

After almost three years, the Australian Standard for Flushable Products, which will define the criteria for material suitable for toilet flushing, is due to be released for a nine-week public consultation. 

The draft is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Once the public comment period closes, the Standards Committee will consider the comments and make relevant changes to produce the Final Standard. It is anticipated that the standard would be ready for publication in July 2021.

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