It feels like hardly a week goes by without a news story about a monstrous new fatberg being discovered in the sewers, clogging up the place with its mass of fat and wet wipes that people still flush away regularly. It's a pain for the water firms, and now they're planning on fighting back with the help of graphic design.
They've come up with a logo that manufacturers will be able to display on their wipes, showing that they're totally capable of not clogging up sewer pipes and won't lead to a grim mass of fat that has to be hacked apart by a sewer maintenance person that clearly doesn't get paid enough. Sadly London museums will need to come up with different ideas for exhibits.
Obviously they're not giving manufacturers the chance to be dishonest, since there are allegedly companies out there that says their wipes are suitable for flushing when they're not. So if they want to use the new logo, their product will have to pass all sorts of tests. Tests that prove the wipes have no plastic and will degrade in the pipes like paper toilet paper.
Michael Roberts, the chief executive of Water UK, which represents major water and sewerage companies in Britain, said:
"This is an important step in the battle against blockages. We’ve all seen the impact of fatbergs, and we want to see fewer of them. Improving the environment is at the core of what the water industry does, and the new ‘fine to flush’ standard that we’ve created will make it easier for consumers to buy an environmentally friendly product instead of one which clogs up drains and sewers.”
That's not going to stop people flushing any old thing down the toilet, though, so it's only part of the battle. Maybe their next task is to come up with a giant logo that says wipes can't be flushed. [The Guardian]