TESCO has announced it will stop selling baby wipes containing plastic from this month in a pledge to help the environment.
The supermarket, which is the UK’s biggest seller of wet wipes, will no longer have branded baby wipes containing plastic in its stores by March 14.
It comes after the retailer made its own-brand wipes plastic-free two years ago. They now contain plant-based viscose that breaks down quicker in landfill.
A Tesco spokeswoman told The Times : “There is no need for wet wipes to contain plastic so from now on we will no longer stock them if they do.”
Four varieties of Huggies and two of Pampers will be impacted by the ban, though Tesco will stock its own-brand plastic-free versions plus others by Waterwipes and Rascal + Friends.
The supermarket chain sells 75 million packs of wet wipes a year – which works out as more than 200,000 a day.
Many of these wipes use plastic fibres, which make them unrecyclable.
Tesco said that its cleaning wipes and lavatory wipes would also be plastic-free from next month.
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The only exception is an own-brand of wipe for cleaning a pet’s paws, which will be plastic-free by the end of the year.
Its pledge follows a similar curbs on wipes by health store Holland and Barrett, which banned wet wipe products from its 800 stores more than two years ago,
Millions of wet wipes are sold in the UK every year, including make-up removal and surface cleaners.
Campaigners say supermarkets have been slow to remove unnecessary plastic from products.
Friends of the Earth said the wipes contributed to “the tide of plastic waste that pours into our environment every year, threatening wildlife and blighting our neighbourhoods”.
EarthWatch Institute and Plastic Oceans UK claims, 9.3million wipes are still flushed down toilets every day in the UK, which damages marine life and causes sewer blockages.
Jo Ruxton, founder of Plastic Oceans Foundation, said at the time: “Single-use plastic items represent a major part of this problem and this destruction will soon be irreversible if the world doesn’t make a change.”
Waitrose and Sainsbury’s say their own wipes are 100% plastic-free.
Nappy makers Huggies said it hoped to be plastic-free by 2025.
More on retailers' commitment to the environment, Lidl and Waitrose top Which?’s first supermarket sustainability rankings.
Meanwhile, Cadbury has made a major change to its chocolate bar packaging to encourage healthier eating.
Elsewhere, we round up the 15 best reusable shopping bags you can buy in 2022.
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