But this year has also trumped in promoting ethical changes including switching paper coffee cups for reusable ones (we adore KeepCups!) and supermarket giants promising to clamp down on single-use plastics.
The next on Michael Gove's hitlist, you ask?
The humble, all-purpose wet wipe.
Yep, the magical cloth that cleans baby mouths, hands and bums, but are also great for quick 'wet wipe showers' or cleaning your surfaces. We all do it, shh.
The Marine Conservation Society says that the number of wet wipes found on UK beaches has increased by almost 700% over the last decade.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “As part of our 25-year environment plan we have pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, and that includes single-use products that include plastic such as wet wipes.”
“We are encouraging innovation so that more and more of these products can be recycled and are working with industry to support the development of alternatives, such as a wet-wipe product that does not contain plastic and can therefore be flushed,” said the spokesperson.
Because some wet wipes are made of polypropylene, they won't break down and will instead clog drains or wash up on beaches. Even wipes which are labeled 'flushable' often contain plastic, meaning they will not biodegrade.
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