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When one of our personal products customers approached us with a unique application—a water soluble pouch for a body wash product—they sought proof of flushability to ensure that the entire solution was safe for the environment, packaging included.

Since our world’s wastewater systems unfortunately are filled with items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, but are, such as sanitary napkins and non-flushable wipes, this personal product firm wanted to guarantee that all aspects of their product offering would be zero waste. 

That’s when they turned to us.

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We worked with SGS-ISP Testing, an international testing lab that offers flushability testing per the Fourth Edition of the Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products (GD4) from the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry (INDA) and the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDANA).

SGS-ISP Testing ran five tests with our 3x15 heat seal printed pouches including:

  1. FG501: Toilet and Drainline Clearance Test, which evaluates whether or not a nonwoven product can safely clear toilet and building drainage lines.

  2. FG502: Slosh Box Disintegration Test, which tests if a nonwoven product disintegrates when exposed to mechanic agitation in water.

  3. FG503: Household Pump Test, which assesses if nonwoven products are compatible with household sewage ejector pump systems.

  4. FG504: Setting Test, which measures if nonwoven products can settle in septic tanks, sumps, setting chambers, and on-site aerobic systems.

  5. FG507: Municipal Pump Test, which tests if nonwoven products are compatible with municipal sewage pumping systems.

Because these flushability standards don’t normally apply to paper, we ran a modified version of this testing method and only tested five out of seven standard properties because the other two did not apply to our material.

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In the end, SGS-ISP Testing found that our water soluble printed pouches passed the five GD4 flushability tests, thus proving safe to flush down the drain.

Note: SmartSolve’s materials cannot be certified for flushability according to these standards since they only apply to wipes and paper towels, two kinds of products we don’t offer. However, since our pouches passed the GD4 tests, our pouches can be flushed without any negative environmental impact.

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Once our pouches passed these tests, our customer began using them with their liquid bath product, which is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of sulfates, fillers, phthalates, and parabens.

After consumers open a water soluble pouch while using it in the bath or shower, the pouch begins to dissolve when exposed to water in 40 seconds or less, then washes down the drain.

As a result, our customer can meet their goals of having 100% dissolvable packaging without the use of non-biodegradable or polluting packaging.

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Interested in trying out our water soluble pouches for yourself? Request samples today . Or do you have another packaging application that you’d like to discuss? Contact us to get the conversation started.

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