Make-up removing wipes could soon be a thing of the past in the UK

Bad news if you're a fan of the baby wipes...

(Image credit: I Love Images/REX/Shutterstock)

Bad news if you're a fan of the baby wipes...

If you're one of those people who relies on make-up wipes (might we remind you you should be using one of the best cleanser instead), then we have some bad news for you.

Along with plastic straws, baby wipes and make-up removing wipes could soon become a thing of the past due to the threat they pose to the environment.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a new plan to 'eliminate' all non-biodegradable wipes from the UK market, which 'includes single use products like wet wipes'.

Fibres from the wipes are killing fish and other marine life, while the wipes themselves are clogging rivers and sewers.

According to Water UK, which represents all of the country's main water companies, wet wipes account for a whopping 93% of all sewer blockages. Last year 5,453 wet wipes were removed from just one section of the Thames in a single day.

While non-biodegradable wet wipes should be disposed of, too many people flush them instead.

'We are continuing to work with manufacturers and retailers of wet wipes to make sure labelling on packaging is clear and people know how to dispose of them properly,' a spokesperson for Defra told the BBC.

However, Defra is 'encouraging innovation so that more and more of these products can be recycled and are working with industry to support the development of alternatives, such as a wet-wipe product that does not contain plastic and can therefore be flushed.'

Looks like wet wipe companies have a big redesign project on their hands...

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.