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Boots to stop selling plastic-based wet wipes in sustainability bid

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Boots to stop selling plastic-based wet wipes in sustainability bid

Boots has announced that it plans to remove all plastic-containing wet wipes from its shelves by the end of the year. 

The multiple announced earlier today that has written to its suppliers in the UK and Ireland to inform them of the decision, which it has taken in a bid “to be a more sustainable retailer”. All wet wipes that contain plastic fibres are to be scrapped and replaced with “plant-based biodegradable alternatives”. 

All Boots brand wipes will either be labelled as ‘Do Not Flush’, or will be “developed to meet the WRC Fine to Flush standard,” Boots added. 

The company claims to be one of the biggest sellers of wet wipes in the UK, having sold over 800 million wipes in stores and online in 2021.

Boots chief customer and commercial officer Steve Ager said: “Our customers are more aware than ever before of their impact on the environment, and they are actively looking to brands and retailers to help them lead more sustainable lives.

“We removed plastics from our own brand and No7 wet wipe ranges in 2021, and now we are calling on other brands and retailers across the UK to follow suit in eliminating all plastic-based wet wipes.

"We all have a responsibility to protect our planet. By joining forces to inspire more positive action, we can collectively make a big difference.”

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “This is a really encouraging commitment from Boots to prevent the damaging plastics in wet wipes from entering our environment.

“We have already conducted a call for evidence on wet wipes, including the potential for banning those containing plastic.

"This is in addition to the action we have already taken to tackle plastics, including banning microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, restrictions on single-use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and the 10p plastic bag charge.

“In the meantime, our message is clear – you should bin and not flush wet wipes.”

Marine Conversation Society Sandy Luk commented: “It’s a fantastic step in the right direction for retailers like Boots to remove plastic from their own brand wet wipes and ask that all brands they stock do the same.

“Our volunteers found nearly 6,000 wet wipes during the Great British Beach Clean in September 2021, which is an average of 12 and a half wet wipes for every 100 metres of beach surveyed.

"The fact we’re still finding so many wet wipes on our beaches shows that we need to remove plastic from wet wipes and move toward reusable options whenever possible.”

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