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  • NJ A3218
  • Prohibits nonwoven disposable products from being advertised, packaged, or labeled as flushable unless they pass third party test approved by DEP.
Introduced
(2/22/2016)
In Committee
(2/22/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would make it unlawful to advertise, package, or label a nonwoven disposable product as flushable, septic safe, or sewer safe unless: (1) the person makes available and maintains written documentation of testing substantiating that the product meets industry standards for flushability; and (2) the testing is performed by a laboratory that is capable and qualified to perform the testing as determined by rules adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A nonwoven disposable product is any product constructed from nonwoven sheets that is designed, marketed, or commonly used for personal hygiene purposes, and includes baby wipes, sanitary wipes, and disposable washcloths. This bill would not apply to: (1) a television or radio broadcasting station, Internet website, or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, or other form of printed advertising that broadcasts, publishes, or prints an advertisement that features a nonwoven disposable product packaged or labeled as flushable, septic safe, or sewer safe; or (2) a retailer or wholesaler that distributes or sells, but does not package or label, a nonwoven disposable product that is advertised, packaged, or labeled as flushable, septic safe, or sewer safe. Any person who violates this bill would be subject to a civil fine of up to $5,000 for each offense. If the offense is of a continuing nature, each day during which a nonwoven disposable product is advertised, packaged, or labeled in violation of the bill would constitute a separate offense. The bill would require the DEP to adopt regulations necessary to implement the bill, including a process by which a nonwoven disposable product may be tested by a third party to determine whether the product is flushable, septic safe, or sewer safe. Nonwoven disposable products, though often marketed as flushable, can cause blockages in plumbing networks and sewer system. The wipes combine with other materials in the wastewater system, such as congealed grease, to create indestructible knots, which are costly to remove and can cause serious damage to wastewater infrastructure. New York City alone has spent $18 million in the past five years on wipe-related equipment problems, according to city officials. Similar stories have been reported in cities across the country. This bill, which is modeled after a New York City initiative and legislation in Maine, attempts to address this problem by prohibiting the mislabeling of nonwoven disposable products.
Environment and Solid Waste
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee  (on 2/22/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
2/22/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified