Published June 2019
Ditching the non-biodegradable wet wipe: YES explores the alternatives
In May 2019, high street retailer, health store Holland & Barrett, became the first UK store to announce it would stop selling all 34 products in its wet wipe range across its 800 UK and Ireland stores (and online) in a bid to reduce the environmental damage that non-biodegradable wipes cause to sewage systems. From makeup removal and personal hygiene to surface cleaners, wet wipes are a common household item, and for many, an essential in completing day-to-day tasks. So is it really worth going without them?
Many ‘standard’ wipes actually contain plastic or wood pulp, which means that they do not biodegrade in the sewers if flushed away, contributing to blockages and so called ‘fatbergs’. According to research by The EarthWatch Institute[i], an estimated 9.3m non-biodegradable wipes are flushed down UK toilets each day. As a rough idea of the negative impact of these wet wipes on our environment, the Marine Conservation Society[ii] have stated that per 100 metres of coastline, an average of 14 wipes exist. One article in The Guardian[iii] from December 2017 made evident the economic impact of wet wipes – reporting that ‘baby wipes are causing hundreds of thousands of blockages in the UK sewer system and costing the country £100m every year’.
Pretty shocking statistics.
Where do we fit into the conversation?
We rigorously listen to customer feedback, and one thing that has been brought to our attention is the demand for us to produce our own intimate wipes. So why haven’t we acted on this so far?
Our mission is to ‘change the world from the inside’, and in order to do that we have pledged to create products that respect human health, wildlife and the environment. As non-biodegradable wipes have proven to have a negative environmental impact, we are keen to create an eco-friendly alternative. Currently, we are unable to find a way of producing wipes that meet every one of our high product standards as well as our requirements for ecological impact.
However, while the search continues we have an alternative for those seeking a certified organic intimate cleansing product, we recommend YES CLEANSE. This ultra-gentle feminine wash is an excellent sustainable alternative to non-recyclable and non-bio-degradable intimate wipes. The economic foam pump produces a soft gentle lather with 200+ washes (lasting over 6 months when used daily!) Plus, our certified organic wash is pH matched to the vagina, unlike many commercially available shower gels or soap washes that can cause irritation to the delicate vulval area, which means that it’s great for those who are super-sensitive. Our wash is available as either fragrance-free, or subtly fragranced with a hint of Rosa Damascena. You can read more about YES CLEANSE here.