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White King “flushable” wet wipes has been fined for making false and misleading claims.

The maker of White King has been fined $700,000 for false and misleading claims about its “flushable” toilet and bathroom cleaning wet wipes.

The Federal Court ordered the penalties against cleaning product manufacturer Pental in a court action initiated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following a referral by consumer group Choice in 2016.

In addition to marketing the wipes between 2011 and 2016 as “flushable”, Pental’s packaging and promotional materials included statements such as, “Simply wipe over the hard surface of the toilet and just flush away”, and “White King toilet wipes are made from a specially designed material, which will disintegrate in the sewage system when flushed, just like toilet paper”.

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The company admitted this was not the case. “The court’s decision shows that businesses face serious consequences if they make false or misleading statements about the nature of their products,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement on Thursday.

“The ACCC took action against Pental due to concerns that consumers were being misled into believing that the wipes were suitable to be flushed.

“These White King wipes can’t be flushed down the toilet, and Australian wastewater authorities face significant problems if they are because they can cause blockages in household and municipal sewerage systems.”

 The ACCC has separate ongoing proceedings against Kimberly-Clark Australia Pty Ltd (Kimberly-Clark) concerning alleged false or misleading representations in relation to four ‘flushable’ personal hygiene wipes products that were marketed and supplied in Australia between May 2013 and May 2016.

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  • I’m sure most people would think that anything flushable does just that. Glad they are being made accountable for false advertising

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  • They should be held accountable if they have done the wrong thing.

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  • I haven’t and wouldn’t use this product, but I’ve certainly never considered flushing wipes of any sort. I do use the Pine-O-Cleen wipes on occasion, but they always go in the bin. So pleased that this business has been called to task, as they should be.

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  • As far as I knew all wipes claiming to be flushable were shown not to be. Its not a product I’d use.

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  • Wow this is new news to me I have never ever heard of the problem these white king wipes are causing until now

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  • So pleased this has finally been brought out in the media so people know not to do it.


    • Media attention and campaigns sure do reach target audiences.

    Reply

  • There is a vast difference between those you clean the bathroom and the ones you wipe your your btm with. I only use them if I think the toilet paper may not be cleaning me properly. It stops any residue impregnating in your skin and making you smell as though you had an “accident” in you knickers/undies.

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  • Falsely misleading the public is serious, especially when the environment is at stake. Personally I think the fine should have been higher.

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  • So much controversy around toilet wipes and I expect more to come.

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  • I agree the word “flushable” is misleading. The company should have changed the name ages ago.

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  • Yes, I’ve heard these wipes are a big problem.

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  • I used supposed “flushable wipes” after giving birth to my son just shy of 3 years ago; I felt duped and concerned when told at a later stage they shouldn’t be flushed!

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  • Indeed, they shouldn’t have used the word “flushable”.

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  • Disgusting behaviour to knowingly make false claims like this. The damage to sewerage pipes and the environment has been huge.

    Reply

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