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  • by Karma Loveday

Minister signals preference for behaviour change over banning plastic wet wipes

Water minister, Rebecca Pow, has indicated Defra is not minded to ban the sale of wet wipes containing plastic outright, as the Plastics (Wet Wipes) Bill is hoping to do.


She was replying to written questions from MPs including Putney’s Fleur Anderson, who brought the Bill forward at the start of the month. It is returning for its Second Reading on Friday.


Pow said Defra was considering a range of options for tackling wet wipe issues, but: “In general, we prefer to help people and companies make the right choice, rather than banning items outright.”


The minister said in its upcoming consultation on single-use plastic items, Defra will ask questions about wet wipes to help it build its evidence base and inform its policy approach. Meanwhile: “We will continue to encourage the water industry and wet wipe manufacturers to work together to raise consumer awareness about the appropriate disposal of wet wipes and other non-flushable products, and to ensure that the labelling is clear. This will be crucial for generating meaningful behavioural change with consumers.”

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