Scottish Water is calling for a ban on the sale of wet wipes which contain plastic. The company says it responds to 36,000 blockages each year with the vast majority featuring wet wipes. It comes as an advertising campaign is launched urging people not to flush wipes of any kind down the toilet.

Scottish Water is asking the public to join forces to avoid sewer blockages, flooding, and pollution by consigning wipes to the bin. And it is also calling on governments north and south of the border to work together to ban wipes made with plastic.

The new nationwide campaign – Nature Calls – is backed by a range of other organisations, including the Marine Conservation Society, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland.

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said: “The actions we take at home can help protect Scotland’s world-renowned rivers, lochs, wetlands and seas. Flushing inappropriate items contributes to serious blockages in our sewers, unsightly debris in our rivers and can cause great harm to our marine environment; by being aware of this and changing our habits we can all help protect our precious, rivers seas and wildlife.

“Every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of single-use plastic are wasted in this country – they litter our coasts, pollute our oceans and contribute to the climate emergency. Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds and we have taken action to place market restrictions on plastic microbeads. We are pursuing proposals to ban some of the most problematic single-use plastic items, such as straws and plastic cutlery, subject to the impact of the UK Internal Market Act 2020.

“We support the calls to ban wet wipes containing plastic and encourage the UK Government and other administrations to work with us to bring forward bans on unnecessary and environmentally harmful products.”

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