Halifax declares war on "flushable" wipes

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/27/halifax-declares-war-on-flus.html

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Oh, I didn’t name it after Downtown Julie Brown. I’m just helping popularize the term. That’s all.


Of course, you could just stuff them in the trash as developing countries do with actual toilet paper, but then I guess you still have the problem that they don’t break down in the landfill either.

snort Oh, Andrea… :joy_cat:

They did have to use chocolate pudding in the PSA, didn’t they?


“Flushable” wipes are one of those things the modern world created for convenience that end up making things more difficult and complicated in the long run (like those single serve coffee k-cups.) If you’re going to use these things get a separate trash container for them.


I realize with our wonderful new administration in the US that this is unlikely, but someone (FTC probably) needs to make them take “flushable” off the labels and advertising for these things. Banning them outright is probably impossible, at least in the US, but they could make them stop marketing them as being flushable.


Interesting topic.

I make my own “flushable wipes” at home.

I have a large bottle of hand sanitizer under the toilet paper roll. Take your usual amount of toilet paper, pump a glop hand sanitizer on it and you have essentially the same benefit as a moistened wipe without screwing everything up down the line.

I used to live in a house from the 1800’s and switching from 2-ply toilet paper to 1-ply toilet paper ended the need to plunge and snake the toilet on a regular basis for the rest of the years I lived there.


I wouldn’t want the sanitizer to make direct contact with any mucous membrane though :frowning:


It seems that a clever person may find a very good opportunity here. Sound like creating a wipe you can actually flush would be a real money maker.


I work in the pump business and we have to deal with this on a regular basis. For some nasty images of my glamours job take a look https://duckduckgo.com/?q=sewage+pump+flushable+wipes&t=ffsb&iax=1&ia=images


Ya, everyone’s anatomy is different, but it works fine for me. And while there is a bit more alcohol in the hand sanitizer depending on what brand you buy, the ingredients are similar depending on which brand of flushable wipe you buy.

It would be easy enough to use the same sort of large pump bottle and put water, glycerine, and whatever else you feel comfortable with in it to still get the benefit without the non-breaking down fake fabric or whatever the flushable wipes are made out of.

Just getting regular toilet paper wet kind of works, but it helps if you have glycerine or something like that so it does not immediately soak the toilet paper and start breaking it down before you have actually used it.

I want to be able to use a bidet but for some cultural reason I am sure, I can not get comfortable with it. I know folks that come from bidet using countries and they think using dry paper for the job is the most disgusting thing they can think of.


The problem is that if you want the material to break down when wet, you can not pre-moisten them or they will break down before use.

But if someone created a good “glop this on regular toilet paper before use” mix in a pump bottle, that might be a money maker. You keep using the tp you like, you get the benefit of the moistness, and the good folks at the other end of the sewer pipes do not have such a problem to deal with.


Butts are gross. A baby wipe doesn’t help a butt be less gross as you walk around in non-absorbant underwear. Just give it a good scrub in the shower, give an extra wash for a special occasion, and otherwise treat it like the rest of your skin.


Good point. Try moistening regular TP with witch hazel instead. Same stuff that’s used in commercial pre-packaged products.

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No. No No No.

Do not use hand sanitizer on your nether regions. The alcohol is not actually killing any bacteria and it IS actually damaging your skin making infection more likely.

Use inexpensive, like the cheapest you can find, LOTION with toilet paper.


My dad was a plumber and taught us at a very young age that toilet paper is the only product that gets flushed.

“What about a Kleenex?” - “No!”

“A paper towel?” - “NO! Are you crazy?!”


Ethanol based hand sanitizers are poisoned to keep people from getting drunk off of them.

The Aversive Agents

These are the gentlest ingredients that are added to things like hand sanitizer, to discourage you from drinking them — and they’re basically pepper spray in liquid form. They’re called “pungent agents,” and they consist of piperine, the molecule that’s responsible for the kick in black pepper and capsaicin, the molecule responsible for the kick in chili peppers.

And even these toxins have a deadlier version. Resinferatoxin is a chemical found in a Moroccan cactus. It stimulates the same receptors as capsaicin. The good news is, it stimulates them more powerfully than capsaicin. The bad news is less than forty grams of it is potentially fatal for humans. Even a small amounts can leave people reeling and in pain for hours.[/quote]

I would consider “hand sanitizer” high on the list of “things you should not rub liberally over your asshole”. (Or on your genitals - thin skin is, uhm, more sensitive…posting for a friend.)


Yeah banning is likely unrealistic, but how about surcharging/taxing the manufacturers and importers? The income gets redistributed proportionally to water districts to cover the extra expenses being incurred.

This is a classic case of profits being internalized while costs & problems are externalized. The best example I can think of is gasoline taxes (which in part go toward costs of air pollution and road maintenance), but others who know better might suggest constructive actions to make the true costs manifest and more properly borne.


While I’m with you on keeping hand sanitizer off one’s junk, need a citation for the claim that alcohol does not kill bacteria. Best I can find, it does. The question is not whether it kills bacteria, but whether it kills enough bacteria and whether it is effective on viruses.


I think it’s also worth asking whether all the bacteria actually need to be killed.

For my part, just removing them from my hands is enough. Those with compromised immune systems will obviously have different needs.