Sale of Wipes Containing Plastic To Be Banned Across UK

In response to the Defra consultation first published in October 2023 proposing the UK-wide ban of manufacturing and selling wipes containing plastic, the Government has now published an update. The press release confirms that the supply and sale of wipes is to be banned, but not the manufacture of wipes containing plastic for export.  

According to the response, the legislation should be in place across the UK by the end of 2024, and there is to be an 18-month transition period from the point each separate piece of legislation is passed.  

The steps are intended to help tackle plastic pollution, clean up waterways and reduce the disruption to our ecosystem caused by the volume of microplastics entering wastewater treatment sites. 

The Government has confirmed that the definition of plastic does not include viscose, lyocell and cotton.  However, plastics that are bio-based, biodegradable or compostable, such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polylactic acid (PLA), are included within the definition and will be subject to the ban.  

The supply and sale of wipes containing plastic wipes used in industrial and medical purposes will be exempt from the ban. 

Further information regarding the UK-wide ban of wipes containing plastic can be found in the Government’s press release. 

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