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Some Non Degradable Wet Wipes Will Be Banned In The UK
Aug 17, 2018

Some non degradable wet wipes will be banned in the UK

The British government's plan to eliminate plastic waste includes some non-biodegradable wet wipes as well as common plastics, the BBC reported on May 8, 2018.

According to the British government's plan, wet tissues contain non degradable ingredients. Therefore, manufacturers either develop degradable wet wipes or consumers have to give up using wet wipes.

According to the WATER UK, up to 93% of the sewer rubbish in Britain is clogged by wet wipes. According to statistics, in April 2018, 5453 pieces of wet towel waste were found in the 116m2 area of Thames River. In this regard, the British government and relevant industry organizations should discourage consumers from throwing wet towels into the sewer.

"We will continue to work with wet wipe manufacturers and retailers to ensure that the labels on the packaging are clear and that people know how to properly handle wipe waste," a Defra spokesman said. The department also said the move "encouraged innovation and urged product manufacturers to produce and develop alternatives such as degradable wet wipes and make more products recyclable."

Over the past decade, the wet towel industry has grown rapidly, with manufacturers offering more types of wipes for sensitive skin, baby's hips, makeup remover, insect repellent, deodorant or sun protection. However, most wipes are made of polyester and other non biodegradable materials.

But Jeremy Friedman, general manager of a wet wipe manufacturer, wrote to congressmen that banning wipes would have a disastrous impact on the environment. It was also pointed out that the wet towels produced by his company are biodegradable and consume only 3 ml of water on average. However, if the wet towels are not used, it will take an average of 1 liter of water to wash hands. "Wet towels are also widely used in the medical industry and are essential for incontinence and the disabled to their way of life." Therefore, in any case, the use of wet wipes can not be banned.

British Prime Minister Teresa May reportedly pledged in January to eliminate all "avoidable plastic waste" by 2042.