Boots shop

Boots is to stop selling plastic-based wet wipes and replace them with plant-based biodegradable alternatives.

The health and beauty retailer, which sold 800 million wet wipes in stores last year and accounts for 15% of face wipes sold in the UK, has written to suppliers saying the change is required by the end of the year.

It will affect over 140 lines, including brands, across skincare, beauty, baby, tissue and healthcare categories.

The retailer has already reformulated its own-brand wipes.

“We removed plastics from our own brand and No7 wet wipe ranges in 2021, and now we are calling on other brands and retailers across the UK to follow suit in eliminating all plastic-based wet wipes,” said Boots UK chief customer and commercial officer Steve Ager.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “This is a really encouraging commitment from Boots to prevent the damaging plastics in wet wipes from entering our environment.

“We have already conducted a call for evidence on wet wipes, including the potential for banning those containing plastic.

“In the meantime, our message is clear – you should bin and not flush wet wipes.”

Boots said wipes for intimate use would be marked as Fine to Flush, the water industry standard indicating they are safe to flush down a toilet without causing a sewer blockage.

Aldi announced last month that all its own-label wet wipes were to be plastic-free, while Wilko’s own-label wipes have been plastic-free since 2020.