Single use wet wipes containing plastic are to be banned with legislation expected to be announced by Environment Secretary Steve Barclay today

The law would make it illegal to sell or supply wet wipes containing plastic in England, with the rest of the UK set to follow by the autumn.

Wet wipes eventually break down into microplastics, which damage ecosystems and contribute to water pollution, and discarded wipes have increasingly littered Britain’s beaches.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer of the Rivers Trust says:

“The long-awaited ban on wet wipes containing plastics has finally made it through the machinery of government. Whilst it’s good that we are cutting off one supply of plastic to our environment, all wipes are a significant hazard to river systems, carrying chemical disinfectants and glues as well as potentially disease organisms. Even without plastic, wet wipes can still block sewers and wreak environmental havoc. We call for manufacturers to provide clear labeling on wipes so everyone can take action to make sure that wet wipes are binned not flushed.”


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