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Parliamentary questions
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19 November 2018
Question for written answer E-005823-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Deirdre Clune (PPE)

 Subject:  Flushable wet wipes
 Answer in writing 

A major investigation in the UK has found that wet wipes being sold as ‘flushable’ are causing extreme damage to the environment. Many of these products under investigation are also on sale in Ireland and across all Member States.

The UK investigation found that wet wipes don’t break down and are causing blockages to sewers. It found that ‘flushable’ wet wipes are responsible for 93% of blockages in UK sewers. They say it costs GBP 100 million a year to deal with them.

The UK Government has said it is working with manufacturers and water companies to develop a product that does not contain plastic and can be safely flushed.

A recent report from Coastwatch in Ireland reported ‘long ropes’ of wet wipes ending up on Irish coastlines.

Can the Commission advise as to how we can tackle this issue on an EU-wide basis?

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