Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is supporting a Bill which aims to ban plastic in wet wipes.
The Bill was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday by Labour MP Fleur Anderson, and has cross-party backing alongside the support of Thames Water and leading ecological and wildlife charities.
It is estimated that 11 billion wet wipes are sold in the UK every year and 90% of these contain plastic. This is the equivalent of 163 wet wipes per person. The plastic in wet wipes breaks down into microplastics, which can be ingested by marine and riverine animals. 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone.
Wet wipes are blockages in UK sewers, and are changing the shape of rivers as they pile up on beds and banks. There is currently relatively little regulation or government policy governing the manufacture, advertising and guidance on wet wipes. Non-plastic wet wipe alternatives include: bamboo fibre wipes, plant-based wipes, organic cotton wipes and washable re-usable cloths.
Supporting the Bill, Andrew Gwynne said:
“Plastic pollution is a huge issue. In my constituency, the River Tame has the largest concentration of microplastics in any river in Britain, and it’s caused in no small part by the plastics in things like wet wipes.
Fleur’s Bill would make a simple change to legislation but have huge environmental benefits. I’m proud to be supporting it, and I hope that as it progresses through Parliament, it receives the Government and cross-party support it needs to come into law.”