"Don't Flush Baby Wipes" Campaign Updates

Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine. February 6, 2014: “Innovative Baby Wipes Pilot Campaign Kicks Off in Maine

Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME). January 26, 2014: “Baby wipes cause Maine sewer utilities big, expensive woes: Officials and industry are trying to spread the word that the wipes don’t belong in toilets.”

San Francisco Chronicle online (San Francisco, CA). January 22, 2014. “Maine urges residents to stop flushing baby wipes“.

Innovation in Textiles (Cary, NC). January 23, 2014. “Save Your Pipes: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes

Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME). January 22, 2014. “Portland sewer clogs lead to plea: Don’t flush baby wipes// Three groups are collaborating on an eight-week campaign that aims to keep wipes from clogging the wastewater system.”

WCSH6 (NBC; Portland, ME) television coverage

Boothbay Register (Boothbay Harbor, ME). January 15, 2014: “The Battle of the Baby Wipes“.

1/10/14 UPDATE:  The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, VA) and the Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority (New Jersey) join the list of donors to the campaign!  Plans for the January 21 press conference are being finalized: speakers include Ron Miller (Portland Water District), Comm. Aho (Maine DEP), Steve Ogle (INDA), Kyra Dorsey (Suominen Nonwovens), and yours truly.  Press kit for media- including a thumb drive containing the two television ads- are being put together.  (-Aubrey)

1/7/14 UPDATE:  DC Water joins many other utilities as a donor to the campaign.  Only $1,850 left to meet our goal of contributing $15,000!   (-Aubrey)

1/3/14 UPDATE: Maine DEP announces that Commissioner Patricia Aho will join mewea and INDA at the official press conference for this campaign, to be held on January 21, 2014 at 10 AM at the Portland Water District Cottage Place Pump Station in Westbrook.  Contact me for more information or to RSVP. (-Aubrey)

12/30/13 UPDATE: Today is production day for the two television spots that will promote the message of this campaign: Don’t Flush Baby Wipes!  Thanks to Burgess for allowing us to watch the filming: it was rewarding and exciting to see it happen! (-Aubrey)

12/24/13 UPDATE: mewea and INDA agree on the final creative component of the education campaign: the scripts for the two television spots. The setup is a quiz show format, “What the Flush?”, in which contestants earn points for correctly answering how products should be disposed. (-Aubrey)

12/10/13 UPDATE: Results of the pre-campaign market research (in-depth interviews) are evaluated.  It’s very interesting how many people reported using baby wipes for personal hygiene and flushing them, despite saying that they read disposal instructions on the package. The project team agrees that we have an excellent opportunity to change this behavior with our education campaign. (-Aubrey)

11/21/13 UPDATE: Today was the final of the six pre-campaign sorting events at the Portland Water District facility in Westbrook, where we removed baby wipes from piles of materials pulled from the screen.  Many thanks to all the volunteers who assisted with this unsavory task, including John Hart (Saco), Mike Tibbetts (York), Dan Bicknell (Freeport), Stacy Thompson (Saco), Jon McCabe (Freeport), Dustin Price (York), Richard Bicknell (Freeport), Matt Timberlake (Ted Berry Co), Peter Goodwin) (Woodard & Curran), the many PWD folks who made it happen, including Scott Firmin, Tom Hume, Tim Christian, and Steve Picard- and anyone else I missed!  Thanks also to Tom Connolly (Yarmouth) for coordinating the Freeport volunteers. (-Aubrey)