As evident in the recent ban of plastic microbeads in many countries, there are a lot of efforts to reduce the number of single-use plastic products that go to waste. For example, disposable wet wipes. The popular household item can be sold for many uses, including for babies, hygiene, make-up removing, household and pets. These one-time use items are made of cotton woven together with nonbiodegradable plastic resins. Regardless, wipes are thrown away and flushed down the toilet in large quantities.

This has become a growing issue in the UK where the government is looking to eliminate wet wipes entirely along with other forms of avoidable plastic in their 25 Year Environment Plan. The improper disposal of wipes has led to an increasing number of sewer blockages and costing taxpayer money to remove. This problem isn’t exclusive in the UK, many blockages have come up consisting of wipes and other substances that costs Canadian and American taxpayers millions. When wipes are passed through sewers, they end up in the marine environment and harming nearby species.

Although there is some concern of the removal of wet disposable wipes from the daily routine of many parents, there are plastic-free possibilities for wipes. The cosmetic brand Yes To offers facial wipes made of natural and biodegradable material with zero plastic. Their use of cellulose with no plastic binders certifies their product as compostable and renewable.

The transition to degradable materials provides many benefits including helping prevent the formation of sewer blockages under many cities worldwide, diverting waste that would have otherwise been sent to a landfill and reduce the ever-increasing production of virgin plastic from fossil fuels. Although this ban has been brought up in the UK, there have been similar demands among environmental organizations in Canada and the US.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading North American regulatory consultants for Natural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other personal care products.