Are Wipes Flushable?
For those of you that use wipes, you probably can’t imagine being without them. After all, you’ve come to rely on them countless times throughout the day: in the car, at the gym, after a run, everywhere.
Just remember back to the last time you reached for the pack and realized you were out of wipes. It might not have been the end of the world, but we can bet you felt a twinge of frustration and maybe even a little more crankiness than you expected.
So, as much as you’ve come to depend on wipes, it has probably been disappointing to read about all the new information about so called "flushable wipes."
Here at HyperGo, we want to clear up some of the confusion about wipes. Here are the answers to some of the common questions that consumers have about the sustainability of wet wipes:
Are Wipes Flushable?
The short answer is no. No wipes are truly flushable. Even the ones that claim to be aren’t being entirely truthful, and in the past few years, companies have been forced to remove the label of flushable altogether.
That’s because when they come into contact with water, wipes don’t break down like normal toilet paper. Think about it: if you wanted to clean up a spill on the counter, would you rather use a wipe or toilet paper? One will be sturdy enough to clean up the mess, the other will dissolve in your hand.
So, then, it’s not surprising that when wipes are flushed, they don’t lose their strength. The result is that flushed wipes simply lump together in sewer and septic systems, causing huge problems for homeowners and city governments. New York City, for instance, spent over $18 million dollars in just five years because of the increased popularity of flushable wipes.
Won’t They Eventually Break Down After Being Flushed?
The answer, for most brands of wipes, is a disappointing kind of.
Because, of course, wipes eventually do break down if they’ve been able to sit in water for long enough. But they don’t just disintegrate. Instead, they break down into their smaller parts. The problem is that most wipes have been manufactured with plastic to increase durability, and plastics are much more difficult to get rid of than the fibers used to make toilet paper.
In fact, the plastics from flushed wipes are commonly found in marine environments, where they pose a huge threat to sea life. So even if wipes didn’t have to be dragged out of sewers to prevent blockages, they would still pose a threat to the environment, not to mention to those of us that consume fish.
There’s one more consideration here, as well: fragrances. Wipes that try to mask undesirable smells often use synthetic fragrances that most people don’t consider as an environmental risk. Unfortunately, though, those chemically-based smells don’t really ever go away, sometimes even changing the flavor of the fish and mollusks that absorb them.
Many of these synthetic ingredients are carcinogens or have been linked to hormone disruption in both wildlife and humans, so it’s incredibly important to talk about them in the larger discussion of wipe decomposition.
What Should I Do?
The first step is to stop flushing wipes down the drain. Even if the label says you can. And if you know of friends or family who do so, give them a gentle reminder. It will help us all in the long run.
The next step is to invest in a more responsible product. HyperGo wipes, for instance, are made with vegetable fibers instead of plastics, so you can be sure that they are 100% biodegradable. They’re also made without fragrances or alcohol so that there are no threats to you or the natural ecosystems.
Because these natural fibers decompose, they’re infinitely better for the environment than any other wipe on the market. That said, we still want to stress that they’re not flushable.
Is there a catch?
We’re happy to say that no there is no catch when it comes to HyperGo wipes.
They’re good for you, and good for the environment. So you can keep up your daily hygiene routine without giving up on quality or having to worry about damaging the environment. As long as you remember to ditch the used ones in the trash instead of the toilet, you can continue to stock up on wipes for your home, car, locker, gym bag, or wherever you use HyperGo wipes.
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