On September 18th, 2015, the “Service Public Fédéral Santé Publique, Securité de la Chaîne Alimentaire et Environnement” from Belgium published a Royal Decree to set a framework defining the biodegradability and disintegrability requirements for products designed to be evacuated in the toilets.
To be allowed on the Belgian market, the products designed to be evacuated in the toilets should meet the following criteria:
- The products must be intended to collect urine, feces or other body fluids,
- The products must not disturb the water collection, transport and purification systems,
- The product must not contain non-biodegradables fibers.
According to this Royal Decree, non-flushable products will have to meet the following labelling requirements:
- The following “Do not flush” logo is mandatory: ,
- This symbol must be prominent, clearly visible and legible on the primary packaging. It should not be hidden by the sealing of the packaging,
- The logo diameter should be equal or higher than 1.1 cm on the primary packaging and equal or higher than 2.5 cm on the secondary packing,
- The illustration of the logo should be dark against a light background,
- The text “Ne pas jeter dans les toilettes – Niet in het toilet gooien” is optional but no other sentences can be used. It should be written horizontally.
In order to avoid the use of such logo on the labels of the wipes (and if it meets the criteria ‘a’ outlined above), a dossier has to be created. This dossier will be held by the person responsible for the placing on the market and will contain the following pieces of information:
Criterion 1 – Disintegrability
- Toilet and Drainline Clearance Test
- Rapid Mechanical Disintegration Test
- Pumping Test
- Aerobic Biodisintegrability Test
- Anaerobic Biodisintegrability Test
Criterion 2 – Biodegradability
- For the solid fraction:
- Biodegradability in aerobic conditions
- Biodegradability in anaerobic conditions
- For the surfactants impregnating the solid fraction:
- Surfactants are subject to restrictions based on biodegradability under EC Regulation 648/2004 on detergents
The Royal Decree will enter into force on July 1st, 2016. The products that are not in compliance and already on the market on this date will have nine months to be cleared from the market (namely for April 1st, 2017).