ACCC loses lawsuit over flushable wipes

Australia’s consumer watchdog has failed to persuade a judge that Kimberly-Clark Australia misled customers when it said its wipes – moist towelettes – were flushable.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claimed the company made false or misleading representations by labelling the products as flushable, leading consumers to believe that they had similar characteristics to toilet paper.

But in the Federal Court on Friday, Justice Jacqueline Gleeson said she was not persuaded the ACCC’s evidence was sufficient to support a conclusion that the wipes were unsuitable for flushing.

“If it is sufficient, I do not draw that conclusion because the instances of blockages identified by the complaints are so few in the context of the total sales of the wipes that they are properly characterised as insignificant,” she said.


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