A ban on plastic wet wipes is being considered by the Government as part of its new water plan.

The Government's Plan for Water has set out ideas with which it wants to ensure a clean and plentiful supply of water for the future.

This includes a consultation on the ban of plastic in wet wipes, as they cause problems such as harming marine wildlife and affecting beaches when they are flushed into the sewer system.

There will also be a consultation about restrictions on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

These substances are used in items such as firefighting foam, textiles, cleaning products, paints and varnishes, and there is concern about stopping PFAS levels from becoming too high in drinking water.

Barrhead News: Wet wipes can cause harm to marine life after being flushed into the sewer systemWet wipes can cause harm to marine life after being flushed into the sewer system (Image: Marine Conservation Society/PA)

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey also wants to see more investment from water companies, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement for those who pollute as part of the plan.

What did Therese Coffey say about the Government's water plan?

Ms Coffey said: “Our rare chalk streams and world-famous coastlines, lakes and rivers are hugely important to local communities and to nature.

“I completely understand the concerns that people have about the health and resilience of our waters, which is why I am setting out this plan for a truly national effort to protect and improve them.

“That includes higher penalties taken from water company profits which will be channelled back into the rivers, lakes and streams where it is needed.

“This is not straightforward, but I take this issue extremely seriously and things need to change. That’s why we have developed this plan and we are committed to delivering the progress that people want to see.”

Ms Coffey is set to lay out her department’s plans in a speech on Tuesday (April 4) at the London Wetland Centre.

Responding to plans to speed up water infrastructure investment, Ali Morse, water policy manager for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “This investment is imperative, and we urge Government to ensure that projects begin as soon as possible.

“Water companies develop long-term plans for water supply and wastewater, which include environmental improvements, but these are set to happen over decades; our waters and wildlife cannot wait.