North Wiltshire MP, James Gray, joined colleagues from across the House today to call for the banning of plastic in wet wipes. The Ten-Minute Rule Bill, for which Mr Gray is a co-sponsor, was presented by Fleur Anderson MP this afternoon.
The Bill aims to encourage people to move towards reusable alternatives rather than flushing plastic-filled wipes after one use. Wet wipes are behind 93% of blockages in UK sewers and the Thames Water area alone has on average 85,000 blockages a year due to fat and wet wipes.
Mr Gray stated:
“In the UK alone, a staggering 11 billion wet wipes are used every year, 90% of which contain some form of plastic. This plastic then breaks down into microplastics, which can be ingested by marine and riverine animals, and are entering into our food chain and water supply.
This is not a call to ban wet wipes completely, but there are plenty of non-plastic alternatives such as: bamboo fibre wipes, plant-based wipes, organic cotton wipes and washable re-usable cloths which we should be using instead. Fleur’s Ten-Minute Rule Bill calls upon greater responsibility on manufacturers and suppliers to label products correctly and to promote reusable products, and I am proud to support it.”