Assembly Bill 1672 passed one of the hardest roadblocks in the Assembly late last week, squeaking by in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Under AB 1672, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), all disposable ‘non-woven’ products in California would need to be labeled saying that they should not be flushed down. Products covered under the bill include all disposable wet wipes and flushable wipes frequently used for infant care and by adults wanting a hygienic alternate to toilet paper.
Those supportive of the bill include environmental groups, sewer system employees, and other organizations worried about the impact the wipes have been having. Environmentally, many wipes are hard to break down in a short period of time due to the materials being used in the wipes. Some of them are plastic based, which supporters have said are a huge polluting factor in waterways and oceans. Other supporters have pointed to the hard figures showing that wipes can cause major sewer issues. In Great Britain alone, disposable wipes cause about 80% of all sewer blockages there, costing millions a year to unclog. In October of 2018, Charleston, South Carolina’s worst sewage incident ever was found to have been caused by a blockage of disposable wipes. While Californian cities haven’t released statistics on the matter, many California sewer and septic workers have said it’s a growing problem.
“We’re seeing more and more of it,” said Elliot Ross, a septic services worker in Northern California. “We’ve been called out for clogs and backups a lot, and if I see the couple has a baby or two, it’s better than even odds it’s the wipes they’ve been using causing it. My older partner on call outs has sometimes been doing a Carnac routine before he even meets the homeowner.”
“I can only imagine what cities have been going through, or worse, what it looks like down there.”
Several cities, such as New York City and Washington, D.C. have already put limits on wipes due to the problems they had on their systems.
Read the rest at: Flushable