According to news.com.au, the makers of so-called “flushable” wipes that cause thousands of dollars of damage to plumbing systems could be facing a class-action lawsuit from disgruntled homeowners.
Consumer watchdog ACCC has launched legal action against Kimberly-Clark and Pental, alleging the two companies deceived consumers by marketing wipes as “flushable” and that they would “break up like toilet paper”, when in fact they wreak havoc on sewage systems and plumbing.
Nationally wet wipes are claimed to cost Australia’s water utilities $15 million to clean up, with some households facing plumbing bills as high as $16,000 a piece.
The news reports have said that both companies could face fines of more than $1 million each if the ACCC succeeds.
Water authorities around the country have long been battling the wet wipe scourge, and have warmly welcomed announcement.
The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) also welcomed the court action.
“Together with over 300 international water utilities and partner organisations, WSAA and its members have signed a global statement outlining that only the 3Ps — Pee, Poo and toilet Paper — should be flushed,” it said in a statement.
Kimberly-Clark on Monday stood by its “flushability” claims. “Our claims that these products are flushable are accurate and the proceedings will be defended on that basis,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to news.com.au.