Nearly three quarters of parents believe it is okay to flush a biodegradable wipe
New research reveals a high level of confusion over the correct disposal of biodegradable wet wipes with parents inadvertently contributing to environmental damage.
The research undertaken by Aqua Wipes, found that 72 per cent of parents believe the way to dispose of biodegradable wet wipes is to flush them in the toilet. In fact, the process of biodegrading is interrupted when wipes are flushed through sewage pipes. The wipes cannot decompose, and ultimately contribute to ‘fatbergs’ and river pollution. In Sept 2021, environmentalists found 27,400 wet wipes on the foreshores of the Thames River.
The research, which polled over a thousand parents in the UK, found 69 per cent believe it takes six years for a biodegradable wipe to decompose. In fact, biodegradable baby wipes can take as few as 15 days to breakdown when disposed of correctly.
This World Earth Day (22.04.22), Aqua Wipes, manufacturer of plastic-free and biodegradable baby wipes launches: ‘WIPE, THEN BIN’, a clear call to action to educate parents how to dispose of biodegradable wipes in the most appropriate, sustainable way.
Dr Mark Little, Managing Director of Aqua Wipes explains: “Aqua Wipes need oxygen to biodegrade as quickly as possible. Ensuring wipes are exposed to the elements as much as possible, and not down the loo or sewage pipes, you can ensure that your used wipes are not contributing to environmental damage. Left exposed in compost conditions, Aqua Wipes will decompose in 15 days and importantly will not release any microplastics into the environment. The only correct way to dispose of Aqua Wipes is to place them directly into a compost bin or the general waste bin. You must never flush them down the loo.”
Aqua Wipes research also found that two thirds, 66 per cent of parents wrap soiled wipes into the dirty nappy after changing their baby. This will not provide the correct climate for a biodegradable wipe to decompose and even biodegradable nappies might still include certain materials that can compromise the process.
Aqua Wipes, ‘WIPE, THEN BIN’ will be supported on social media, parenting media and with social influencers.
Find out more about Aqua Wipes here
You can also catch up with all the latest updates by popping over to Aqua Wipes Facebook Page
The research was undertaken on the Instagram platform targeting UK parents with specific interest in caring for babies and toddlers and who have a conscious attitude to their lifestyle, during March-April 2022
1,197 parents responded to the question, ‘Do You Know How to Dispose of Aqua Wipes’. 866 parents agreed they should be disposed of in the Toilet; 330 agreed they should be disposed of naturally.
1,286 parents responded to the question ‘Do you know how long it takes Aqua Wipes to decompose’. 404 parents agree it is six weeks; 882 parents agree it is six years.
2,403 parents responded to the question ‘After changing your baby’s nappy do you wrap the wipes you used into the dirty nappy to throw away?’. 1,574 wrap wipes into the nappy; 829 do not wrap wipes into the nappy