Putney MP Fleur Anderson Joins Volunteers on Wet Wipe Island

As she reintroduces bill to ban sales of wipes containing plastic

Yuck! Fleur Anderson inspects a wet wipe found on the foreshore


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Putney MP Fleur Anderson has joined over 50 volunteers taking part in the #BigWetWipeCount while preparing to reintroduce her Private Members Bill to ban plastic wipes.

Thames21, the charity dedicated to improving London’s waterways, had invited local people to count the wet wipes deposited on the foreshore on the south side of Hammersmith Bridge on 11 October.

The disgusting deposit has grown so large - up to the size of two tennis courts - that it has been dubbed Wet Wipe Island and it could now be changing the course of the river as well as polluting it.

After joining the count, Ms Anderson summed up the thoughts of many, tweeting @PutneyFleur: “ Yuck! So many wet wipes on the Thames riverbank. Thank you to the 50 citizen scientists volunteers who joined the @Thames21 and @LondonPortAuth Big Wet Wipe Count this morning.”

She added, “ Plastic means they stay intact even after years.”

Fleur is campaigning alongside Thames21 for wipes containing plastic to be banned from our shops to protect the River Thames. This week she has reintroduced her Private Members Bill, which she says has huge cross-party support. You can read more about this and offer your support here.

You can also read more about Thames21’s campaign here.

Fleur was joined at the count by Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter who tweeted @hammersmithandy: “A beautiful day and a productive morning on the banks of the Thames, but a messy job as I join @Thames21 and @PutneyFleur for the #bigwetwipecount. @thameswater @Ofwat @TidewayLondon @LondonPortAuth all present to see the Quatermass-style horror that is #WetWipeIsland.”

The last count on Wet Wipe Island held in May this year collected 1,976 wet wipes, with up to 170 found in one meter square and local volunteer Sam Morland found that the situation has not improved, tweeting @sam_morland: “ Strong turnout of “citizen scientists” today to count the number of wet wipes embedded in randomly selected square meters of the Thames foreshore by Hammersmith Bridge. Finding over 50 to 100 wet wipes in one sq meter within a few minutes was not unusual! “

Fleur Anderson (centre) with Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter and other volunteers
Fleur Anderson (centre) with Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter and other volunteers

Following the count, Thames21 tweeted @Thames21: “ A huge thanks to all the volunteers and partners who joined us for our Big Wet Wipe Count event earlier today. 50+ people joined us to assess the scale of the wet wipe problem on the Thames foreshore.”


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October 21, 2022

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