Most Baby Wipes Could Soon Be Illegal in New Jersey

A Democratic senator’s proposal in New Jersey would impose a fine of $20,000 for selling non-flushable cleansing wipes.

The bill, introduced by Joseph P. Cryan, who represents Union County, was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee on Feb. 27. Its purpose is to prevent people from causing harm to sewage systems by disposing of non-flushable baby wipes or body-cleaning wipes in the toilet, as shown in the proposed legislation.

Under the Consumer Fraud Act, the bill would deem it an illegal practice “for a person to sell, offer for sale, or distribute for sale a non-flushable disposable wipe product.”

Businesses that violate the proposed legislation would be subjected to a fine of not more than $10,000 for a first offense, and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. Cryan stated to the New Jersey Monitor that these wipes are the “worst nightmare” of the sewer industry. He added that the bill targets large companies that save costs by not utilizing biodegradable materials in their products.

“Consumers may wrongly assume these products may be safely disposed of in the toilet,” the legislation states. “Non-flushable disposable wipes are typically made of synthetic materials that do not break down or disintegrate when submerged in water, even over a long period of time. This results in significant harm to sewage and septic systems, causing pipes, pumps, and water treatment systems to get clogged and require costly repairs. “

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