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Switch to reusable wipes

Reusable cloth wipes with cotton on one side and light blue on the other, with a pale blue background

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Did you know that makeup wipes, baby wipes and cleaning wipes all count as single-use plastic? Single-use wipes can’t be recycled or flushed down the loo, which leads to 11 billion wipes being thrown away every year in the UK. Worse still, a large proportion of these are still being flushed down the toilet, making them responsible for over 90% of sewer blockages. However, they can easily be replaced by reusable wipes, cloths or flannels.

Swap to reusable wipes

There are many reusable wipes and cloths to choose from. Made using a number of materials from micro-fibre to cotton or bamboo, they can often make a messy job easier to clean and can simply be thrown in the washing machine after you've used them.

Reusable baby wipes

Cloth wipes for children are a great alternative to single-use wet wipes – the natural materials are more absorbent and super soft on your baby's skin or for wiping sticky fingers.

If you usually take a pack of wet wipes with you when you’re out and about, particularly if you’ve got young children, you can still make the switch to reusable! Simply dampen the cloth wipes and pop them in a small bag or container to keep them moist. They’ll then be ready to use whenever you need them.

Reusable makeup wipes

If you’re looking to ditch the makeup remover wipes, why not opt for bamboo or micro-fibre pads? These are great for removing makeup when used alongside a cleanser, and they’re kinder to your skin than single-use wipes.

Reusable cleaning wipes

Finally, if you want to make the switch from single-use cleaning wipes around the house, why not try a cleaning cloth? They perform better than a standard wet wipe as they are usually much more absorbent. Alternatively, an old t-shirt or other item of unwanted clothing can also make a great replacement for single-use wipes.

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Sign the Essex resident plastic pledge here.

Find out more about plastic

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Plastic recycling in Essex

Tips to improve your recycling