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The BBC reports that ever so handy wet wipes, used for anything, from cleaning up sticky fingers and removing eye make-up as well as on other parts of the anatomy, could themselves be wiped out over the next couple of decades.

The UK government says its plan to eliminate plastic waste “includes single use products like wet wipes”, the main reason being that the wipes contain non-biodegradable plastic.

So manufacturers will either have to develop plastic-free wipes or consumers will have to go without. Wet wipes have already been blamed for clogging up rivers and feeding the growth of “fatbergs” in sewers.

That has prompted the government and industry to focus on persuading consumers not to flush them into the waste water system.