Wet wipes have become a convenience in a lot of our day-to-day lives. Whether that's for keeping our little ones clean, or to take our make up off at the end of the day. It is now at a point where eleven billion wet wipes are disposed of each year in the UK.
But what are the consequences of using wet wipes? Here are 3 of the main reasons we should be making the switch, either to plastic free wet wipes or reusable wipes, and also some recommendations for alternatives you can use.
1) They are bad for the environment
A large number of wipes available on the market contain plastics that turn into microplastics when broken down. These microplastics can contaminate water and food supplies, and can be ingested by fish, causing damage to ecosystems.
2) They contain chemicals which can be nasty
Cleansing face wipes for example can contain a vast amount of chemicals to keep them moist, effective and preserved. Methylisothiazolinone (MI), parabens, alcohol denat (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) and triclosan are some of the chemicals which you can possibly find in some brands of cleansing wipes, some of which you may have come across before - Parabens are preservatives and Triclosan is an antibacterial compound - both of these can disrupt hormones in the body and increase the risk of cancer. Not good at all!! I would recommend always checking the labels for ingredients first to make sure that they don't contain any of these.
3) They cause 'wet wipe reefs'
A 'wet wipe reef' is a build up of flushed wet wipes in rivers that are damaging the ecosystems of rivers across the UK. These mounds have also been causing rivers to change shape.
Not only this, but flushed wipes can also collect in sewers, causing 93% of blockages in the UK.
What can you use instead?
Lots of major wet wipe brands are starting to make the change to plastic free wipes, which helps with the environmental issues. You can usually tell which ones these are as they will normally have 'plastic free' or 'plant-based' on the packaging somewhere.
My recommendations for wet wipes would be 'Water Wipes' as these only include a few ingredients, most of which is water and they are plant-based. Alternatively, Cheeky Wipes do a fantastic range of reusable wipes which you pop in the washing machine and keep reusing (You can get 10% off using the link above).