How not to dispose of wet wipes

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 07:39
ThreadID: 130781 Views:2211 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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Just a reminder to dispose of wet wipes (link here) responsibly on our travels. They dont break down in sewerage or septic systems so they MUST go in the bin or be burnt. Flushing them down a caravan park or freecamp toilet just adds to the cost for those who need to maintain the facilities. We all pay in the end either in increased camping fees or in inconvenience when we find toilets not working properly.

Never just leave them on the ground because apart from being unhygenic and totally unsightly they take forever to break down.

I really do wonder if wet wipes are really worth their existence given the (usually not talked about) problems they cause. And yes we use them when we travel, but dispose of them properly.


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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 09:03

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 09:03
I am at a loss as to why there are not a traveller version of these type of products including tissues and toilet paper easily obtainable on the market

Products that will break down quickly and easily when exposed to the environment
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 11:52

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 11:52
There are small packs of tissues, baby wipes, and probably toilet tissue if you search, certainly the former 2 are common in the supermarkets.

No trouble AT ALL to take decent zip lock bags for baby wipes, very easy to open, insert, squeeze out air, and zip up bag to seal, we then put them in a second zip lock for good measure.

Zip locks are also great for decanting foodstuff, and as you empty these they are very good for use to bag wet rubbish, like anything that might smell after a while, egg shells, parts / skins of veggies after food prep, mt tuna tins, etc . . . but we've started burning tins now to burn out leftover contents, they come out clean as a whistle, and crushed for general rubbish bag.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 13:18

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 13:18
Les I don't mean small packs of the current products available

I am suggesting that there should be a readily available environmentally friendly version of these products that break down quickly in the elements so we don't have these sorts of litter problems in teh first place.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 17:52

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 17:52
I realy question the need for these wet wipes, we did without them for decades.

They are just an environmental nightmare ..... they are synthetic because they have to be.

The use of synthetic non woven fabric is what makes this whole idea viable, if they where made out of biodegradable material like paper, they would disintergrate in the package.

If you even half care about the environment just dont buy or use them, they are part of the massive plastic waste problem that western society has created.

Instead do what we always did and a lot of people still do, carry water and towel ...... the water container can be refilled and the towel can be washed.

Wet wipes are forever, they do not break down in land fill nothing eats them, there is no practical way to recycle them ..... so once they are made they are forever in the environment.

Next to disposable nappies they are one of the most disgusting things man has made.

AnswerID: 592339

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 19:47

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 19:47
True, even though we may only use a dozen for a short trip,multiplied it adds up.

Water wash is certainly an option for some trips, but in the outback carrying extra water can be an issue.
Love the high country, where it's fairly easy to bucket some away for a wash.

Disposable nappies.
~ 95.5% of Australian parents use them over cloth nappies.
2 billion a year into landfill.

In the US it's the same % using them, supposedly 27.4 billion a year :|

They do decompose in landfill, takes around 500 years.
FollowupID: 860515

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 20:04

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 20:04
Be careful you don't criticise the over use of disposable nappies, I did on here a few years ago & copped a real hiding over it!

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 21:04

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 21:04
Really? Seems odd for such a forum to be pro such a shockingly World unfriendly product, convenient yes, but at such a cost.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 00:25

Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 at 00:25
you need very little water to produce the same result as a wet wipe, a little water on a cloth will do just the same job ....... if you must, carry alcahol bassed hand sanitiser ...... its a handy fire starter too.

There are also non rinse industrial hand cleaners ....been arround for decades.

There are so many alternative to plastic cloth wet wipes.

As for the disposable nappies ........ some part of them with biodegrade ..... very very slowly ..... but the plastic in them is for ever.


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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 19:06

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2015 at 19:06
Hi John an Val,
Wet Wipes are certainly a major problem. However, after traveling through a large portion of the country we are absolutely shocked at the amount of normal toilet paper that can be found everywhere people have travelled. Many camping sites are made thoroughly disgusting by people refusing the "use a shovel". The breakdown of the toilet paper is surprisingly slow when left to decompose in relatively dry environments. Of course the numerous tissues that are also found are even slower to breakdown.
Although most roadside stops and camping areas suffer from this one in particular really stood out for all the wrong reasons. We stayed at Caroline Pool near Halls Creek in WA. For those who may know it it really does look like an ideal place to stay. However, it can be quite crowded and when we were there in 2013 there was no toilet. Need one say more! Away from the immediate area of the camping sites the place was just appalling.
Ron Moon had an article on this topic a few months ago in "4X4 Australia".
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Follow Up By: Member - Young Nomads - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015 at 17:45

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015 at 17:45
We with you Robert... on the toilet paper issue too.
Roadside stops, conservation parks and the desert certainly are littered with them...
Women obviously the main culprits...
I am a woman by the way, so i'm allowed to say that! ha ha ha.
by the way.
Love your TVan...ours takes us everywhere!
Did the Madigan line this year..Our Canning followed obediently behind worries...but again..still toilet paper there too...not happy Jan :(
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 at 15:56

Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 at 15:56
X2 on the toilet paper problem!

On a recent trip up the Strezelecki Track past Moomba, I pulled into the parking/viewing area, just south of Moomba, for a look, take a few photos and maybe spend the night there. The first thing that struck me, well after the heat that is, was the amount of "white flowers" that were present around the edge of the parking area, and up the side of the sandhill. It was everywhere!!!

If you zoom the photo, the amount of paper becomes much more apparent. Ugh!!!


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