As one of the UK’s leading drainage companies, Rider Drains are well-known for their advocacy of biodegradable toiletries and wet wipes. Whilst non-biodegradable products have a substantial and adverse impact on the environment, within the drainage industry, wet wipes are a key cause of damage, blocking drains, sewers and waterways.

Today, Paul Rider, managing director of Rider Drains, is applauding the decision announced by UK retailer Boots, in which they’ve committed to stop selling wet wipes containing plastic fibres by the end of 2022. The decision follows similar moves made by a number of other UK retailers, including Tesco, who announced their commitment to biodegradable-only wet wipes in February 2022.

“This is well-overdue news, but news well worthy of celebration,” said Paul Rider. “Rider Drains have advised customers to avoid plastic-based toiletries and wet wipes for many years as they cause incomprehensible damage to the environment, not to mention drainage systems. When unblocking drains, repairing drains, installing drains or responding to an emergency call, we’re never surprised to find non-biodegradable wet wipes have played a part. We hope more retailers follow suit to solve the UK’s drainage problem and most importantly, reduce environmental damage.”

Below, we outline why Rider Drains have strenuously advocated the use of biodegradable toiletries and wet wipes. Alternatively, to learn more about Rider Drains and their advocacy, visit their website:

An estimated 11 billion wet wipes are used in the UK each year, the majority of which contain plastic, leading to widespread damage to drainage, sewers, rivers and wildlife

Rider Drains say that despite many non-biodegradable wet wipes being labelled with ‘do not flush’, consumers aren’t necessarily paying attention. With an estimated 11 billion wet wipes sold in the UK each year, wet wipes are still being flushed away. As a result, wipes are piling up on riverbanks causing the rivers to change shape, marine animals are dying from microplastics ingestion, and the likes of drains and sewers and becoming blocked and damaged, often requiring complicated intervention to resolve.

Paul Rider says retailers like Holland and Barratt are leading the way. “In September 2019, we saw Holland and Barratt replace their wet wipes with reusable alternatives. The Body Shop has also phased out non-biodegradable wipes. It now appears more retailers are waking up to the problem and making positive change”.

A vast majority of drainage issues are caused by non-biodegradable toiletries and wipes – so much so that Rider Drains launched an emergency service

For the team at Rider Drains, the impact of non-biodegradable toiletries and wet wipes is felt on a daily basis. Their team are experts when it comes to unblocking drains, alongside installing, descaling, lining, cleaning and more. Such is the scale of the problem caused by wet wipes and other non-biodegradables, Rider Drains opted to launch an emergency drainage service to meet the demand.

“When emergency strikes, our team is ready, 24/7. Often drains become so blocked or damaged that they need immediate attention, and this emergency drainage service is a direct response to the rise in blocked drains, of which wet wipes are a key culprit.”

Rider Drains are committed to playing their role in changing consumer mindset, and advocating the use of biodegradable toiletries and wet wipes

With an established reputation for environmentally-friendly consumer advice, the team at RiderDrains are delighted to see further moves by UK retailers to phase out non-biodegradable products and commit to the reusable or plant-based options. They have pledged to continue advising their customers on the harms that non-biodegradable toiletries and wet wipes can cause and will encourage further retailers to stop selling such products.


More Information

Rider Drains are the UK’s #1 drainage company, based in Darlington, UK. They provide fast, efficient, insured and guaranteed services for residential and commercial customers. Services include drain unblocking, installation, lining, descaling, drain repairs, cleaning, and emergency drain services. Get a free quote today and learn more about their range of drainage services via the website:


About Rider Drains

Rider Drains was set up in 1992 and is based in Darlington. We have almost 30 years’ experience in drainage services, operating across the local area including Teesside, Stockton, Richmond, Catterick the Yorkshire Dales, Barnard Castle and Bishop Auckland.

Contact Rider Drains
236 Carmel Road North
United Kingdom
0800 086 2750