Tesco has become the first major retailer in the UK to ban the sale of baby wipes containing plastic, following a campaign by environmentalists.
There are estimated to be around 11 billion baby wipes used in the country every year, and 90% of them contain plastic that will not break down for thousands of years.
Scottish Water recently called for a ban on them, due to the severe blockages and ‘fatbergs’ they cause in the sewer system – with more than 10,000 tonnes of material being removed from Scotland’s waste water plants in 2021.
The publicly-owned water provider launched a “Nature Calls” campaign urging people to stop flushing the wipes down the toilet and put them in the bin instead.
‘No need for wet wipes to contain plastic’
But Tesco, the UK’s biggest supplier of wet wipes, has gone a step further and removed the products from sale entirely.
A Tesco spokewoman told The Times: “There is no need for wet wipes to contain plastic so from now on we will no longer stock them if they do.”
The supermarket’s own-brand wipes already do not contain any plastic, which is used by many manufacturers to make the products stronger.
However, even plastic-free wipes should be placed in the bin rather than flushed down the toilet, unless they carry Water UK’s “fine to flush” certification.