Waitrose ‘Fine to Flush’ Wipes

Waitrose & Partners has become the first UK supermarket to achieve ‘Fine to Flush’ certification for its private brand wet wipes.

Waitrose fragrance-free moist toilet tissue refills and Waitrose lightly fragranced moist toilet tissue refills will now be certified as ‘Fine to Flush’, the standard introduced in January this year by Water UK, which represents water companies across the country.

The two products, which are both plastic-free, are available in stores from today and packs will soon carry the ‘Fine to Flush’ logo.

This means they have both passed the necessary tests that prove they break down quickly and easily in the sewer system. The tests are carried out by WRc, the independent technical experts who developed the flushability standards in conjunction with Water UK.

Waitrose & Partners has also confirmed it continues to work towards meeting guidelines to ensure the rest of its own label flushable wipes meet the new ‘Fine to Flush’ certification. Wipes that are not designed to be flushed are already clearly labelled ‘Do not flush’.*

Head of CSR for Waitrose & Partners, Tor Harris, said:

“Wet wipes have become increasingly commonplace in UK households so it’s an issue we have to tackle and have been working on with our suppliers for some time. We know we still have more work to do, but this is a big step forward and gives us a platform to build on for the rest of our range.”

Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society added:

“It is great news that Waitrose & Partners has listened to the Marine Conservation Society’s call for own brand wipes labelled as ‘flushable’ to pass the water industry ‘Fine to Flush’ standard. We now urge not only other retailers to follow suit, but also major, international brands. Customers need to know that when they are instructed to flush, the product really is safe for UK sewers and won’t contribute to blockages and fatbergs.”

*Following guidance from EDANA and INDA in 2017, Waitrose & Partners became one of the first UK retailers to implement new front of pack labelling to ensure all wipes that are not designed to be flushed are clearly labelled with ‘Do not flush’.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.