Holland & Barrett will replace 34 wet wipe products with sustainable alternatives
U.K. retail chain Holland & Barrett has announced a complete ban on the sale of all wet wipe products from its 800 U.K. and Ireland stores, with all wet wipe products and variants replaced by environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives by end of September 2019. According to the EarthWatch Institute and Plastic Oceans UK, 9.3 million wipes are flushed down toilets in the U.K. every single day, making their way to the world’s oceans, rivers and sewage systems, damaging marine life and creating huge costs for consumers from sewer blockages.
In the U.K., the popular products are blamed for 80% of blockages in sewers, costing an estimated £100 million a year to clear. Internationally, the problem is much bigger with wet wipe demand growing to $13.5 billion in 2018. Holland & Barrett will replace 34 products in its wet wipe range with sustainable, waste-free and re-usable alternatives such as double-sided cotton cloths, unbleached cotton muslin cloths, cotton pads and an exfoliating mitt. Joanne Cooke, head of Beauty at Holland & Barrett, explaines: “There is a growing awareness of how much our current throwaway culture is damaging our oceans, beaches and rivers. We want to encourage our customers to think about what they currently throw away and encourage them to swap to more sustainable alternatives. The quickest way for us all to make a positive impact on the world we live in is to choose to spend our money on more sustainable products.”