A UK high street chain with a store in Workington is to stop selling wet wipes from the end of September to limit the damage they cause to water systems.

Holland & Barrett is removing all 34 products in its wet wipe range from its 800 UK and Ireland stores and replacing them with sustainable, waste-free and reusable alternatives such as double-sided cotton cloths, unbleached cotton muslin cloths, cotton pads and an exfoliating mitt.

Millions of wet wipes are sold in the UK every year, with increasing numbers causing problems in sewers and waterways.

Volunteers for the Marine Conservation Society’s annual beach clean last year found an average of 12 wet wipes per 110 yards (100m) of beach cleaned and surveyed.

Sewer-blocking fatbergs, which are mainly caused by a build-up of wet wipes, oils and grease into a solid mass, have also increased in frequency in recent years.