A message from our friends at Thames21

We were pleased to see the recent announcement from Defra that it was planning on banning plastic in wet wipes and launching a consultation on the situation. This is a culmination of lots of hard work from Thames21, our volunteers, other organisations and our supporters.Nevertheless, we realise that this is the third time in five years that the government has launched a consultation on the issue. We have enough research on this topic, so we are still urging the government to take urgent action on this matter.At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we want to reiterate that wet wipes made with plastic fibres are contaminating our rivers and building up in large numbers on the River Thames foreshore, and the plastic is forming ‘wet wipe islands’ which are devastating for wildlife and for people. Many fish in the river have plastic fibres clogging up their digestive systems. The situation is only getting worse. If we are serious about reducing irrecoverable plastic waste in the natural environment, we must ban plastic in wet wipes IMMEDIATELY!Wet wipes are often disposed of incorrectly, so our message to you is don’t turn rivers into toilets. People can help address the problem by being in the habit of putting wet wipes in the bin. Remember the three ‘p’s’ only pee, paper and poo should go down the loo.We also urge water companies to urgently invest in sewerage infrastructure to combat sewage pollution and improve our waterways.The government stated that it was carefully considering further measures on banning plastic in wet wipes in the future, but we need them to urgently take action.We are still awaiting news from Defra when this new consultation on banning plastic in wet wipes will be launched. We will keep you updated when we hear, so that you can feed into his document. However, in the meantime, politicians of all parties are starting to wake up to the need to ban plastic in wet wipes, but we want your help to push this to the top of the political agenda. So, please write to your MP – and get in touch with us to share their reply. Thanks to all of you who have done so already, by the way.To make things easy, we’ve drafted a letter that you can send to your MP. Just click on this link to download a template letter here or copy and paste from the bottom of this pageFind out who your MP is here.