Costco sells 6.5-carat diamond rings worth nearly $400,000 amid the bulk groceries and home goods that lure bargain seekers to its warehouse stores.
Sky News reporter Jennifer Bechwati tweeted Sunday that she found a diamond ring costing 499,999.99 AUD (or roughly $388,900 USD) at a Costco store in Australia “between bulk AA batteries and dustpans.”
She posted a photo of the round-cut ring that listed its weight as 6.55 carats with color and clarity of “G” and “VS1,” respectively. The diamond was set in a platinum band.
It turns out that the warehouse chain sells a host of expensive diamonds in stores and online. Costco’s US website lists 303 diamond rings with stones as big as 10 carats. Prices range from $159 to $420,000.
Shoppers might not expect to find such expensive rings in stores, but a Costco spokeswoman told the Daily Mail that every one of its warehouses has at least one “WOW” item in its jewelry department.
The manufacturer of White King “flushable” wipes has been fined A$700,000 because these are not, in fact, flushable. The wipes, advertised as “just like toilet paper”, cannot disintegrate in the sewerage system, and cause major blockages.
The Federal Court found Pental Products and Pental Limited, which manufacture the wipes, guilty of making false and misleading representations. In particular, Pental claimed that the wipes would break down in the sewerage system, like toilet paper does.
So-called flushable wipes, now sold for everything from make-up removal to luxury toilet paper, are a growing hazard to public health. Sydney Water says 75% of all sewer blockages in the city’s waste-water system involve wipes.
Don’t trust the label
While wipes might look a bit like toilet paper, there are major differences. Wipes are made from a very tough material called “air-laid paper”, and are often impregnated with cleansing chemicals, disinfectants and cosmetic scents.
Air-laid paper behaves very differently in sewers to toilet paper and does not readily disintegrate in water.
When in sewer pipes the resilient wipes have a tendency to entangle with other wipes and create blockages. This is a bit like the knot of tangled clothing sometimes found in the washing machine. Sewerage system managers around the globe seem powerless to prevent the problem.
Sewer blockages caused by wipes look grotesque. Unpleasant work in confined places is required to remove the blockages (some of which is done by hand!). In 2016 Newcastle’s Hunter Water removed an ugly seven-meter snake of wipes and assorted sewage debris, weighing roughly a tonne, from its sewers.
SOURCES: Business Insider Phys.org