Peters & Peters

Pental fined for “flushable” toilet wipe claims

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Key facts:

In December 2016, the ACCC brought proceedings in the Federal Court against Pental Ltd and Pental Products Pty Ltd (together, Pental), alleging that they had made false or misleading representations, in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, in relation to its White King “flushable” toilet and bathroom cleaning wipes.

Pental’s packaging and promotional materials for its White King wipes included statements such as “flushable”, “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”.

The ACCC alleged that by labelling the wipes as “flushable”, consumers were led to believe that the wipes had similar characteristics to toilet paper and so would break down in a similar fashion and timeframe and were therefore suitable to be flushed down the toilet, when this was not the case.

Pental co-operated with the ACCC and admitted to making false or misleading representations as to the flushability and disintegration of its White King wipes. As a result, in April 2018, the Federal Court ordered Pental to pay AU$700,000 and to implement a compliance program.

The Federal Court also made declarations that Pental’s representations about its “flushable” wipes were false or misleading in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

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