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Macomb County brings suit against manufacturers of fatberg-causing "flushable" wipes

Macomb County video screen shot
Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller plans to sue manufacturers of disposable wipes.

The Macomb County Public Works Commissioner is suing manufacturers of disposable wipes that claim they are flushable. Commissioner Candice Miller says if you flush disposable wipes down the toilet, they can damage sewer pumps and clog sewer pipes.

Macomb County had a problem with a "fatberg" which was caused by fat congealing with so-called flushable wipes and the combination clogged a major sewer pipe.

Miller says it’s not a matter of banning the sales of the disposable wipes, but stopping them from being labeled as "flushable."

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

“And we're suing these manufacturers to try to get them to change this packaging and make it correct so that it says ‘Do not flush. Non flushable,” she said in a video.

Miller said she doesn’t have a problem with the wipes.

“They're fine. Just don't flush them down the toilet. So change the packaging instead of saying flushable toilet wipes say ‘Do not flush.’, ” she said.

She’s filing the lawsuit in federal court against nine makers of the disposable wipes to get them to change their labels.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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