Holland & Barrett ditches wet wipes in fresh sustainability push

By Becky Bargh 9-May-2019

Single use wet wipes are responsible for 93% of fat bergs in the UK

Holland & Barrett has stamped its environmentally friendly foot by banning the sale of wet wipes in its 800 stores.

From September, the beauty and wellness retailer will rid it’s shelves of 34 controversial products, encouraging customers to opt for sustainable alternatives.

This is a first for the UK high street and is part of Holland & Barrett’s ‘Clean and Conscious’, which is putting pressure on other beauty retailers to follow suit.

The company’s head of beauty, Joanne Cooke, said: “There is a growing awareness of how much our current throwaway culture is damaging our oceans, beaches and rivers.

“We want to encourage our customers to think about what they currently throw away and encourage them to swap to more sustainable alternatives.

“The quickest way for us all to make a positive impact on the world we live in is to choose to spend our money on more sustainable products.”

Single-use wet wipes are responsible for 80% of blockages in UK sewers, according to a study by Water UK, due to their durability, which is also contributing to ocean pollution.

Meanwhile, EarthWatch Institute and Plastic Oceans UK found 9.3 million wipes are flushed down toilets in the UK every single day, which can end up on our beaches.

The Marine Conservation found an average of 12 wet wipes per 100m on UK beaches.

Cooke added: “The impact of single-use plastic on the earth is very evident, and so moving forward we will look to make our beauty offering as clean and conscious as possible.

“There are a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to wet-wipes that are just as easy, efficient, and safe-to-skin and we’re excited to be leading the way on these, alongside our exciting suppliers, who are already making huge strides in moving towards a more sustainable future.

“We hope other large retailers will join us on our mission to make the high-street a more environmentally conscious place.”

Three beauty alternatives:

Lush 7 To 3

Developed by inventor Gary Shears and Lush co-founder, Helen Ambrosen, the 7 To 3 product is a circular, self-preserving skin facial pad and in keeping with Lush’s ‘naked’ ethos is sold without any packaging.

Face Halo

Meanwhile, Australian brand Face Halo launched as a dedicated brand to tackle the single-use culture with its hero product make-up remover pad.

The machine washable, dual sided and reusable product works by trapping water using its micro fibre technology to remove make-up.


Meanwhile, Magnitone, a UK-based beauty brand, has also developed a microfibre wipe that works to remove make-up with warm water, which can be machine washed at 30 degrees.

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