Boots has revealed its plans to stop selling all wet wipes that contain plastic before the end of this year.
The UK retailer and pharmacy chain is actually one of the biggest sellers of wet wipes in the country, and is said to stock more than 140 different brands in its stores across the skincare, baby, tissue, and health care categories – but after selling more than 800 million wipes last year alone, it’s time to make a change.
Following the fact that the retailer managed to successfully reformulate its own-brand wipe ranges without plastic last year, Boots now plans to replace all plastic-based wipes with plant-based biodegradable alternatives.
Boots says it is calling on other brands to “follow suit” and remove plastic from wipes.
Speaking on the move, Steve Ager – chief customer and commercial officer at Boots UK – said: “Our customers are more aware than ever before of their impact on the environment, and they are actively looking to brands and retailers to help them lead more sustainable lives.
“We removed plastics from our own brand and No7 wet wipe ranges in 2021, and now we are calling on other brands and retailers across the UK to follow suit in eliminating all plastic-based wet wipes.
“We all have a responsibility to protect our planet.
“By joining forces to inspire more positive action, we can collectively make a big difference.”
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow has also welcomed the move by the retailer, adding: “This is a really encouraging commitment from Boots to prevent the damaging plastics in wet wipes from entering our environment.”
The move has also been welcomed by a number of environmental groups and campaigners, including the Marine Conservation Society – which says that a large proportion of the 11 billion wet wipes used in the UK every year still contain some form of plastic.
“It’s a fantastic step in the right direction for retailers, like Boots, to remove plastic from their own brand wet wipes and ask that all brands they stock do the same,” said Sandy Luk, chief executive of the Marine Conservation Society.
“Our volunteers found nearly 6,000 wet wipes during the Great British Beach Clean in September 2021, which is an average of 12 and a half wet wipes for every 100 metres of beach surveyed.
“The fact we’re still finding so many wet wipes on beaches shows that we need to remove plastic from wet wipes and move toward reusable options wherever possible, and it’s great that Boots are making commitments to this.”
Featured Image – Abi Porter (via Flickr)