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Thursday 17 October 2019

Holland & Barrett bans sale of wet wipes over environmental concerns

A blockage of wet wipes pulled from a sewer
A blockage of wet wipes pulled from a sewer

Josie Clarke

HOLLAND & Barrett has become the first chain in Ireland to end the sale of wet wipes - with plans to ban the products from September.

The move is part of efforts to limit the damage they cause to water systems.

Holland & Barrett is removing all 34 products in its wet wipe range from its 800 Ireland and UK stores and replacing them with sustainable, waste-free and reusable alternatives such as double-sided cotton cloths, unbleached cotton muslin cloths, cotton pads and an exfoliating mitt.

Millions of wet wipes are sold in the UK and Ireland every year, with uses ranging from make-up removal and hand sanitisers to surface cleaners, with increasing numbers causing problems in sewers and waterways.

Joanne Cooke, head of beauty at Holland & Barrett, said: "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.

"There are a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to wet wipes that are just as easy, efficient, and safe to skin, and we're excited to be leading the way on these, alongside our exciting suppliers, who are already making huge strides in moving towards a more sustainable future."

Jo Ruxton, founder of Plastic Oceans Foundation, said: "We are delighted that Holland & Barrett are taking a clear lead on sustainability by banning one of the problem products we see in our rivers and oceans - single-use, disposable wet wipes - which use the world's precious resources to manufacture, still come in plastic packaging, and still get flushed down the loo or thrown in the bin.

"We hope that other large retailers will join Holland & Barrett on their mission to make the high street a more environmentally-conscious place."

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