Thursday, 3 May 2018

Bottom Wipes!


An organisation has recently counted the remains of almost 5.5k wet wipes in a section of the Thames river bed that was only 116 square metres in area(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/02/wet-wipes-boom-is-changing-the-shape-of-british-riverbeds). This was a dramatic increase on the numbers counted at the same location in the previous year and reflects the boom in the production of wipes. In addition to the standard wipes, there now appears to be impregnated tissues for almost any purpose including wiping pets and protecting oneself from mosquitos (these are likely to be especially problematic for riverine invertebrates). All wipes are generally cotton-based but include plastics as well as disinfectants and other chemicals. Sometimes, people are advised not to flush these items but on other occasions they are described as 'biodegradable' (although this must be to a very limited extent) implying that they can be disposed of in the toilet. Modern living certainly seems intent on challenging the environment in many ways! 

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