The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is reportedly planning to enforce a ban on the use of wet wipes as part of efforts to reduce plastic waste in the country.

Wet wipes contain non-biodegradable plastics such as polyester and polypropylene, which is hazardous to the environment.

The ban is part of DEFRA’s 25-year environment plan.

“Wet wipes are entering the river through the sewage system when flushed down the toilet and have changed the shape of the riverbed.”

The government agency has also said it will work closely with manufacturers and retailers to ensure packaging labelling is clear and people know how to dispose of wipes.

Last month, waterways charity Thames21 found more than 5,000 wet wipes in one single area of the Thames foreshore near Hammersmith Bridge.

The organisation stated that wet wipes are entering the river through the sewage system when flushed down the toilet and have changed the shape of the riverbed, creating low mounds visible at low tide.

They also noted that other sites alongside the Thames have similar accumulations of wet wipes at various points where the water movement is very slow.