Aust-made claims costs wipes maker $200k

·1-min read

The makers of Kleenex flushable wipes will have to pay a $200,000 fine over the online use of the Made in Australia logo.

Kimberly-Clark Australia had accepted its use of the mark on its websites for the products and others in the Kleenex Cottonelle range was false or misleading because the flushable wipes were foreign-made.

Physical packaging during the relevant times correctly stated the products were imported.

"The contraventions occurred as part of a desire to promote KCA's Australian made Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper products without considering that the representations would appear in such a way that it would indicate that all products promoted on the Kleenex Cottonelle website were made in Australia," Federal Court Justice Wendy Abraham said on Tuesday.

"I accept that the contraventions occurred by oversight, that the situation was remedied when brought to KCA's attention and it cooperated with ACCC at an early stage."

The judgment drew to a close the five-year legal battle between the consumer watchdog and the personal care giant over its flushable wipes.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's claim that the wipes weren't suitable to be flushed because they caused harm to sewerage was dismissed by the Federal Court in 2019.

A later appeal, claiming the wipes "posed" a risk of harm, was also dismissed.