Time to find another way to cleanse…
Even the most meticulous skincare obsessives, who feel faint at the thought of going to bed without double-cleansing, will whip out a make-up wipe to take off their eyeliner at a music festival – and for many women, wipes are an essential part of their everyday beauty routine.
But according to the government, the wet wipe’s days are numbered. A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced on Monday 7 May that the products could be banned under plans to eliminate plastic waste.
“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,” said the spokesperson, per the Evening Standard.
Wet wipes are usually made from polyester and other non-biodegradable materials, and are responsible for causing 93% of blockages in UK sewers, according to Water UK. They are also a key contributor to creating the obstacles known as fatbergs.
Defra said that it wants to encourage manufacturers of wet wipes – including those used for cleaning hands and body parts, as well as removing make-up – to create more environmentally-friendly options.
“We are encouraging innovation so that more and more of these products can be recycled and are working with industry to support the development of alternatives, such as a wet-wipe product that does not contain plastic and can therefore be flushed,” said the spokesperson.
The reduction of plastic waste has been a much-discussed topic in recent months. After scientists warned that the plastic waste in our oceans could triple within a decade, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the government will consult on a potential ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds (all of which contribute to marine pollution).
In addition, more than 40 companies – including Coca Cola Europe, Nestle UK and Waitrose - recently signed up to the UK Plastic Pact, a pledge to ensure that 100% of their plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Want an easy way to cut down your plastic use? Check out our round-up of the best reusable water bottles here.
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