Saturday, 12 May 2018

Wipe Out!


Pressures seem to be mounting on the wet-wipe industry with their being blamed for both environmental damage to rivers and contributing to the creation of sewer-dwelling 'fatbergs' (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/11/from-babies-bums-to-fatbergs-how-we-fell-out-of-love-with-wet-wipes). It has even been suggested that the UK Government should ban them for some usages. There is no doubt that richer and younger people tend to be more substantial users of these products (suggesting that their use in developing parts of the world will increase) but disinfectant hand-wipes are also claimed to be very useful to medical practitioners, especially in hospital settings (having said that, gel dispensers may serve much of the same role in preventing cross-contamination without there being a disposal problem). Perhaps something can be done to enable more efficient disposal of the wipes than simply flushing them?  The difficulty would be enforcing it.

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