Wet wipes to be banned in the UK as Government continues crackdown on plastic waste

Parents express outrage over wet wipes ban

The Government is moving towards banning wet wipes.

In a bid to tackle waste and plastics, wet wipes are set to be banished in the UK.

Wipes are manufactured using polyester and they contain microfibres laced with chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.

Earlier this month a record number of ‘unflushable’ wet wipes were found in just one part of the River Thames in London, during a clean up.

At least 5,400 wipes were discovered in a 116 square-metre space below Hammersmith Bridge.

Wet wipes are frequently flushed down lavatories and end up in sewers and rivers (PA)

The UK uses hundreds of thousands of wipes every year. Mainly used once – to remove make-up or change a nappy – wipes are often disposed of by users flushing them down the toilet.

This can lead to mains sewers becoming clogged and later marine life being killed when damaging fibres are released into bodies of water.

The wet wipe ban was revealed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


A Defra spokesperson confirmed: “As part of our 25-year environment plan, we have pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, and that includes single-use products like wet wipes.

“We are continuing to work with manufacturers and retailers of wet wipes to make sure labelling on packaging is clear and people know how to dispose of them properly – and we support the industry’s efforts to make their customers aware of this important issue.