Calls To Ban Wet Wipes In Wales To Prevent Sewer Blockages
The Welsh government should consider banning non-biodegradable wet-wipes and fund more research into microplastics in rivers, a group of AMs (assembly members) has said.
The new report, published on Monday, accuses ministers of "not getting to grips with the scale of the problem", as figures from Welsh Water suggest some 2,000 sewer blockages are caused in Wales every month by wet wipes.
In a bid to tackle plastic waste, the National Assembly's climate change committee say new targets should be introduced, similar to those aimed at cutting carbon emissions.
The Welsh government says it's already acting on the recommendations put forward, raising the question of whether the whole of the UK should ban wet wipes, too.
Non-biodegradable wet-wipes break down into micro and non-plastics, which are then found in the earth and our oceans. Some have even been found inside organisms in the food chain.
"Plastic pollution is a serious threat to our planet and the public rightly expects governments to take urgent action to tackle this problem," says the report. "Overall, the Welsh Government's progress has been lacking in this policy area."
Recent research by Cardiff University found 50 per cent of the insects in the Taff river system contained plastic.
The committee added: "We cannot waste another day. The time to act is now," adding it wants to see recycling become a "last resort" if something can't be reduced or reused. It also called for a deposit return scheme, which sees people get back an added charge if they recycle a drinks container.
These calls for a ban on wet wipes have been backed by social media users.
"Remember there are only 3m people in Wales (not far off just what Manchester is). 2000 blocked sewers each month because of the menace of these wet wipes. Action does need to be taken. Serious issue," shared one person.
While another called for the suggestions to rolled out country-wide, commenting: "Not in Wales in the whole UK & make up wipes [sic]."
Here's hoping the rest of the UK listens up to these recommendations, as it's clear that plastic pollution and sewer blockages are not just a problem limited to Wales.
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