Wet wipe on Hayle Beach Cornwall Natasha Ewins

We've been working to get plastic in wet wipes banned. In April 2024, all UK governments finally announced a ban on plastic in single-use wet wipes.

Wet wipe pollution

We found sewage-related items like wet wipes on 72% of UK beaches in 2023. They're polluting our beaches, break down into microfibres and have negative impacts on our ocean and marine life.

Wet wipes at Cramond beach clean, Scotland, Kirsty Crawford.jpeg

Credit: Kirsty Crawford

That's why we've been advocating for a ban on plastic in wet wipes, here's what's happened to date:

April 2024: Ban announced for plastic in single-use wet wipes

After over a decade of campaigning, and countless hours spent by volunteers collecting vital data for Beachwatch – we are delighted by the announcement in April 2024 from all governments across the UK banning the supply and sale of single-use wet wipes containing plastic. A fantastic win for our seas!

Read the full story.

Brands removing plastic in wet wipes

Following our advocacy work, major retailers like Tesco and Aldi have taken action by phasing out plastic from their own-brand wet wipes. Boots went one step further and removed any makeup and baby wipes containing plastic from their shelves.

It's encouraging to see these steps being taken by major retailers before an industry wide ban comes into place - we'd like to see more moving in this direction.

Supporting the wet wipe bill with Fleur Anderson MP

Fleur Anderson MP has been using her position to campaign and lobby the UK Government for a ban on plastic in wet wipes since 2021.

In November 2021, we supported Fleur's wet wipe bill as she presented it in Parliament and asked our community to tweet their MP on the issue.

What's happening in Scotland

Our team have been raising the issue of single-use plastic wet wipes in Scotland for over a decade, alongside calling on Scottish Government to ban them.

Through our work on the Marine Litter Strategy and liaison with Scottish Water, including supporting their Nature Calls campaign, last year the Scottish Government committed to investigating a ban on plastic in wet wipes, and has now joined the rest of the UK in confirming the ban.

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