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Wet wipes will face ban under new United Kingdom plastic rules

10 May 2018
Wet wipes will face ban under new United Kingdom plastic rules

In a bid to tackle the pollution problems the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), are taking extra measures to ensure the products are correctly labelled with the precise ways to dispose of the products.

Wet wipes could soon be banned in the UK.

"It looks natural but when you get close you can see that these clumps are composed of wet wipes mixed with twigs and mud".

"There are approximately 300,000 sewer blockages every year", the organization said in December.

It is likely that other sites along the river have similar accumulations of wet wipes, at various points on the insides of bends where the water moves more slowly.

Wet wipes get flushed in vast quantities in the UK, with Water UK, the trade body representing water and sewerage companies across the country, reporting that the items make up about 93 per cent of the material causing huge sewer blockages or "fatbergs".

The move is only one of the attempts that the United Kingdom has undertaken to lessen the problem of plastic pollution in the country.

The British government has said it may ban wet wipes as part of a broader crackdown on plastic trash in measures created to protect the environment. The country has already banned microbeads, introduced an increased plastic bag charge, signaled a ban on the sale of synthetic straws, stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and initiated a new deposit-return system for plastic bottles.

Wet wipes - which includes the make-up and baby kind too - are set to be banned as part of a 25-year environment plan, which pledges to drastically cut down on single use plastic.

He said numerous wipes he produced were made of 100% biodegradable materials, but warned they were under no circumstances flushable.

"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", a DEFRA spokesperson said. It is still considering new taxes to reduce the amount of single-use plastics waste.

Environmental charities including Greenpeace and the Marine Conservation Society say they are not surprised by this high number, since wet wipes are often marketed as "flushable".

Last month, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of a "national plan of action".