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Total wipe out as Boots eliminates plastic in all wet wipes

16 February 2023
News CSR
  • Following the commitment made last year, Boots now only sells plant-based biodegradable wipes
  • MP Fleur Anderson praises Boots on its drive to eliminate plastic from all wet wipes sold
  • It represents the latest move in Boots ongoing sustainability commitments

With over 800 million wipes sold at Boots each year, the company has been working hard to eliminate unnecessary plastic by not only reformulating its own brand wipes, but also committing to eliminate plastic from all wipes it sells – no matter the brand.

Delivering on last year’s radical pledge, Boots now only sells bio-degradable, plant based alternatives, helping its customers to shop more sustainably. This statement actionis part of the Boots commitment to minimise its impact on the environment.

Fleur Anderson, Labour MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields said: “A huge thanks to Boots and thanks especially to all of the staff who’ve been involved in delivering on your commitment to take plastic fibres out of Boots own brand, and then all the other brands sold at Boots.

“The damage that plastic in wet wipes does to our environment is huge, right from what they’re made from all the way through to seeing them on the banks of the river Thames as I have. I hope this move from Boots will inspire lots of other shops to do the same thing.”

Natalie Gourlay, Head of ESG at Boots said: “Boots believes that healthy communities need a healthy planet, we have a rich legacy of operating responsibly because we recognise it is the right thing to do. Together with our customers we want to inspire positive action and encourage the little switches that make a big difference.”

Boots teams worked hard with suppliers to make the switch, ensuring all brands of wet wipes sold at Boots are now biodegradable-only without compromising on options available to customers. To support the correct disposal of wet wipes, all Boots brand wipes are labelled as “Do Not Flush”, or where we need to provide flushable wipes for intimate use, they are developed to meet the Fine to Flush standard.

The move is a positive one for the environment as plastic fibres in wet wipes do not biodegrade. These tiny fibres from disposed-of wipes enter the environment, becoming a pollutant that is very difficult to clean up. Biodegradable wet wipes instead use fibres that do break down naturally over time.

Boots removed all plastics from its own brand and No7 wet wipe ranges by June 2021, and it has also expanded its ranges of reusable and refillable alternatives, including offering reusable make-up remover pads, cleansing pads, Boots Little Stories Reusable Wipes and refillable cleansing products.

The ban on plastic-based wet wipes is the latest change Boots has introduced as part of its sustainability commitments:

For customers wanting to be more sustainable in their habits, Boots has a ‘Be More’ edit on featuring over 400 eco-friendly products to help customers to more easily make sustainable choices.

The Boots range of sustainability commitments includes:

  • Over Christmas, Boots also removed all unnecessary plastic packaging from its gifting range
  • It switched 10 million units of its own brand cotton wool to GOTS certified organic alternatives, which are more environmentally sustainable
  • 100% of Boots seasonal gift range is free from secondary plastic this Christmas, removing over 2,020 tonnes of plastic
  • Boots operates plastic free deliveries – equating to eliminating 157 tonnes of plastic per year
  • Customers using the innovative ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme have deposited over one million hard-to-recycle beauty, health and wellness products. It’s the first scheme of its kind in the UK, accepting all products including those not purchased at Boots, utilising Scan2Recycle technology to encourage more sustainable habits. Since September 2020 over 19 tonnes of plastics have been recycled.



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023