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Supermarkets warned over ethical and environmental impacts of hand car washes

1 February 2019

The Environment Agency will write to major UK supermarkets to call on them to ensure that hand car washes operating in their car parks take appropriate efforts to tackle pollution and human rights concerns, after the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) warned of the “spectrum of exploitation” taking place in the practice.

The EAC’s report, Hand car washes, published in November 2018, called on governing bodies and supermarkets to do more to oversee hand car washes companies to ensure they don’t contribute to water-based pollution or cases of human rights abuses.

As a result of that report, the Environment Agency has agreed to write to supermarkets on the matter, while the Government has agreed to update its pollution prevention guidance.

The EAC’s chair Mary Creagh said: “Our highly critical report into hand car washes found widespread and alarming breaches of planning, employment and environmental laws.