By Raúl Martínez
Marketed as a cleaner alternative to toilet paper, they have the potential to create big problems. Millions of tons of wet wipes are thrown into our sewers each year, and that is a problem that is occurring all over the world.
Most wet wipes are made of synthetic materials by means of hydrolyzing or hydraulic entangling of synthetic fibers, being able to find in the market also those formed by weaving of synthetic fibers and cellulose joined by heat in what is known as airlaid. Its composition based on synthetic polymers means that they are not degraded by bacteria and fungi, they are not biodegraded.
On the labels we are informed that they are a disposable product, it is clearly indicated that they can be flushed down the toilet even with a pictogram, and it is this misleading information that is the origin of the whole problem.
The fact that they are disposable does not mean that it is a biodegradable product that is naturally destroyed during the process of transport and treatment of wastewater.
Filling them down the toilet will cause problems as they remain practically intact, and unlike toilet paper, the wipes do not disintegrate in water. As they travel through the pipes, they cause accumulation, blockage and clogging in the sewer and pumping system.
When they arrive at the wastewater treatment plant, they are practically intact and again cause innumerable problems in its operation, causing equipment breakage and pump jams that are not prepared to receive this waste.
Today we use wipes for practically everything, for babies, as facial make-up removers, for intimate hygiene or to clean furniture, glasses or glasses. The problem comes from how we get rid of them. If we throw them down the toilet they go down the drain, which is terribly dangerous for sanitation infrastructures and the environment. We must become aware of this and consider the wipes for what they are, solid waste, managing them according to the use given in their corresponding container, as we do with any other waste.
Bio Eco Actual