Every mother’s secret weapon against daily parenting responsibilities is wet wipes. These ingenious inventions can clean up messy mouths, sticky hands and assist with nappy changes, as well as clean surfaces for that extra squeaky clean feeling. Wet wipes are quite popular in the UK; as of 2019 the public has spent over £500 million a year on them, they are used for everything from cleaning our kitchens to washing our newborn’s bottoms.
Wet wipes, while convenient, are extremely harmful to the environment. Most of us are guilty of reaching for a wet wipe as a fast way to clean up spills, but that split-second decision has long-term consequences for the rest of the earth.
What Exactly Is The Issue With Wet Wipes?
Wet wipes are problematic, because they include non-biodegradable polymers (plastic). Wet wipes do not fully degrade due to those pesky synthetic fibres and, they account for a significant amount of non-biodegradable waste in landfills. By now, we've all heard about the environmental damage caused by plastic garbage; to put it another way, plastic doesn't go away. It simply disintegrates into smaller and smaller particles, damaging land, oceans and wildlife, as well as human food chains.
Many wet wipes claim to be "flushable," but what does ‘flushable’ mean?. Even if they are labelled as flushable, this does not imply that they should be flushed. Wet wipes do not degrade at the same rate or in the same manner as toilet paper. This means they coagulate into solid masses that clog drains and sewers. According to studies, wet wipes account for more than 90% of the material that creates fatbergs and other sewage clogs and we, as users, are responsible. A 64 metre 'fatberg' (solidified fat, oil, and wet wipes) was discovered in a UK sewer early 2019, which was longer than six double decker buses.
During the Great British Beach Clean in September 2021 nearly 6,000 wet wipes were recorded by volunteers across the UK. This equated to an average of 12.5 wet wipes for every 100 metres of beach surveyed.
Wipes are a constant annoyance in waste-water systems, but they also find their way into our treasured oceans, causing long-term consequences for sea life and the marine environment. Furthermore, river-cleaning crews discovered that flushed wet wipes had constructed a new riverbed in the Thames. Conservationists discovered more than 5,000 wet wipes along the Thames in an area the size of half a tennis court, according to a study.
Wet wipes not only have a bad impact on the environment, but they also have a negative impact on human health. Wet wipes contain a variety of substances to improve their softness, cleaning ability and smell. These chemicals can irritate the skin, especially the sensitive skin of babies, causing rashes and inflammation.
What Can You Do To Assist?
According to a statement made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) “Wet wipes are among the most avoidable plastic trash” and we completely agree!
The simple solution would be to stop using wet wipes, but in today’s world this would be very difficult to achieve, so a practical alternatives needs to be found. Here at Dew, our practical alternative is to use toilet tissue or terry toweling with a quality Dew antibac cleanser. Better for the environment and better for your skin.
"In our search to find safe and reliable cleaning products, we discovered that even natural ingredients caused allergies and could be harmful. Inspired by the oceans, we created Dew without any harsh chemicals. By harnessing the power of minerals, we have created the worlds kindest cleaning products." Erik Smyth the Founder of Dew Products.
With that statement in mind, we know that our range of products will benefit both the environment as well as your wallet. Wet wipes are a costly item that you are literally throwing away and, with the pending legislation to restrict most wet wipe products, they are only going to get more expensive. Choosing our eco-friendly cleaners and cleansers, will help you save money while also helping the environment.
All Dew products utilse electrolysed water, made with salt, that’s it. You can use products like our Toy & Surface Sanitiser to hygienically clean highchairs, car seats, strollers, countertops, changing tables, floors, tablets, dummies, teething toys and any other water-safe surface and eliminate odours.
Dew Child Care
Single use wet wipes are known for cleaning up hard to tackle messes with ease, but sometimes it is the chemicals used in these wet wipes that can cause irritation or inflammation to delicate skin. Using reusable cloths or even tissues, together with a Dew spray is a perfect alternative, when trying to clean up those trickier messes, you can even use directly on the skin.
Our Dew Baby Cleansing Water uses electrolysed water and salt, to make hypochlorous acid, the same substance that nature produces in our bodies to combat infection and keep us safe. It is a hypoallergenic anti-bac skin cleanser (HOCl). Dew Baby Cleansing Water is also non-irritating, pH skin compatible, vegan friendly and gentle on baby's delicate skin, because it contains no alcohol, parabens, perfumes, colours, or other harmfull chemicals of any type. Dew Baby Cleansing Water is also suitable for infants with cradle cap, infantile eczema and nappy rash. It is best used with a washable cloth or tissue, because it reduces the need for wipes. It is gentle on baby’s skin and can be safely used on the body from birth.
What’s more Dew Child Care products, like all Dew products are refillable, which saves you money, reduces plastic waste and is good for the environment. Remember, Dew is 100% biodegradable. What's more, our cutting-edge production plant doesn't produce any unpleasant waste bi-products when we make Dew products.
Finally there is no need to rinse or dilute. Hard and soft surfaces can both be cleaned with our Allergy UK certified Dew Car Seat & Stroller Cleaner. Its active ingredients assist in removing dirt, oil, and fabric stains, making the surfaces of your child's car seat and stroller "sticky free" and hygienically clean. After all, keeping kids healthy is really one thing all parents can agree is worth our time.
Since kids are messy little things, parents have grown to rely significantly on the great wet wipe's convenient and simple nature. Any quick fix is appreciated. We are aware of this, so if you are unable to entirely give up wet wipes at this time, try to reduce your usage and at least avoid flushing them down the toilet. Even though they are marked for flushing, the garbage can is the best place to put them for disposal. These wipes will still inevitably wind up in landfills, but at least they won't clog the sewers, pollute our water courses and damage our oceans. The best course of action is to eliminate or minimise your usage if you can, choosing instead to use our 100% biodegradable , eco-friendly, alternative solutions.
Making these little changes regularly or permanently will have a significant impact on the environment in which your child will grow up. Each of us can contribute in some way.