There are wet wipes for every conceivable bathroom occasion: deodorising under-arms, removing eye make-up and, perhaps the biggest seller, toilet wipes. Apparently swathes of the population no longer find paper bearable. They’re hooked on single-use wipes that combine synthetic cellulosic fibre with plastic fibres.
Although wet wipes may be useful in our daily lives, but they are causing huge problems for the environment so much so that the government is now considering banning the cloths.
The government is cracking down on ‘single use’ plastic products and this includes wet wipes which are normally used once before they are thrown away.
Our sewage systems aren’t designed to cope with this type of waste even if the package says ‘biodegradable’ or ‘flushable’ so they can cause blockages, get tangled in machinery and when they are released into the sea they can wash up on beaches. The use of wet wipes is increasing by around 15% each year and this rising trend is putting a serious strain on our sewers, not to mention even killing marine life.
Like many plastics, wipes contains many non-biodegradable components that can take up to 100-years to break down, if at all harming marine life when they find themselves in the sea.
Even worse, with so many people flushing them own the loo, pipes under our home are becoming clogged with fat-bergs, made up of an astonishgly 93 per cent wipe material.
Manufacturers will have to find ways to make their products environmentally friendly or else in order to save the planet we will have to do without them.
How many wet wipes are we using?
There are now around 30 different types of wet wipes available. Baby wipes, hand wipes, make-up wipes, kitchen wipes, surgical and medical wipes, all kinds of anti-bacterial or cleaning wipes.
If you can think of any possible situation where any part of your anatomy, or your home, or car, or pet, might get the slightest bit sticky, icky or less than pristine, someone somewhere will have created a wipe for that.
So for those in dismay of how we're going to live without them. Do not fret, we’ve got some eco-friendly alternatives.
What can I use instead of a wet wipe?
- Some eco-friendly wet wipes brands do already exist, but they can be difficult to find. Using such wipes does your bit for the environment – a green, natural and affordable wipes option.
- Bio-gradable cotton pads are more affordable and can last longer, and you can soak these in a water solution to create your very own wipe.
- For those that use the wipes on the toilet, electronic bidet’s are becoming increasingly popular and not only is it more environmentally friendly than a wipe, experts say it’s more hygienic too.
Use this list in good health! Hopefully it will save you some time and hair pulling as you endlessly compare which wet wipes are best or the safest and most effective.