A new Australian Standard has been released which will provide both manufacturers and consumers clear guidance on which products can be flushed down the toilet.
The standard known as DR AS/NZS 5328:2022 Flushable Products, has been years in the making and is designed to protect the sewer system from blockages caused by products that can’t break down properly in the network.
To assist manufacturers with determining whether their products are flushable, the standard provides a clear set of criteria including six ‘flushability’ tests to carry out on products to ensure they are safe for the sewer system.
The products that meet the criteria set out in the standard will be able to display the approved flushable symbol, making it easy for consumers to identify suitable products through the packaging.
Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia, said the message from the water industry has always been – only flush the 3P’s.
“That doesn’t change, but now we can add – check for the flushable symbol. If there is no flushable symbol on the packet then don’t flush it, put it in the bin,” he said.
Greater Western Water (GWW) Managing Director, Maree Lang, said that GWW welcomed the standard and it was an important milestone to protect the environment from sewer spills.
“The standard provides guidance to manufacturers and customers to ensure they can keep the sewer systems healthy.”
“The flushable standard is a win for the industry and for the environment.”
Customers can expect to start seeing the symbol on packaging in the next few months. Meanwhile, they are advised to continue flushing only the 3Ps – poo, pee and (toilet) paper down the toilet.
What you can flush
Only flush the 3Ps down your toilet: pee, poo and (toilet) paper.
Anything else (wet wipes, paper towels and face tissues) can cause a blockage. Put these in the bin.
In the coming months, a new flushable symbol will appear on products that are safe to flush. If there’s no symbol on the packaging, or if you’re unsure, please put it in the bin.
What not to flush
Help us stop blockages and don’t flush these down your toilet, sink, or drain:
- cotton buds
- fats, oils or food scraps
- motor oils
- non-biodegradable products
- tampons, pads and their wrappers
- solvents, aerosols or disinfectants.