Huggies to eliminate plastic from baby wipe range in UK

Sabrina Barr

Huggies has announced plans to completely eliminate plastic from its baby wipe range in the UK within the next five years.

The baby and childcare product company claims to be the “first leading baby wipe brand” to have made such a commitment.

The removal of plastic from the baby wipe range will result in almost 1,600 tonnes of plastic being taken off the market in the UK, the firm states.

In addition to its five-year promise, Huggies has also vowed to remove excess packaging from inside its larger wipe multipacks and reduce the amount of plastic used in its “extra care” wipe range by the end of 2019.

“We know that parents are becoming more environmentally conscious, but we also know that they need an affordable and convenient solution that is gentle on their baby’s skin,” said Ori Ben Shai, vice president and managing director of Kimberly-Clarke UK, the company that markets Huggies.

“We’ve already made headway and are proud to offer an alternative which has a lower environmental impact than other leading brands.”

Mr Shai added that the company “won’t stop” until it has found “a fully sustainable solution”.

“We believe no parent should have to compromise between caring for their baby and caring for the environment,” he stated.

According to a YouGov study commissioned by Huggies, 85 per cent of UK parents use an average of 24 baby wipes a day.

This amounts to approximately 8,760 baby wipes used by parents across the nation on an annual basis.

Almost all of the respondents said baby wipes are an essential component of their daily childcare routine.

Nonetheless, just over a third of the survey’s participants said it was key for the wipes they purchase to be environmentally-friendly.

While four in five parents said they are worried about the impact baby wipes have on the environment, 73 per cent said they have not switched to a more sustainable product in the past 12 months.

Huggies, which is part of Wrap’s UK Plastics Pact, is urging consumers to refrain from flushing baby wipes down the toilet and to recycle all wipe multipack packaging where possible.

In May 2018, the government said that household wet wipes will be eliminated from the UK in an effort to protect marine life.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the commitment is part of a 25-year plan to “eliminate all avoidable plastic waste”.

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