By Dan Walsh
Irish Water and Clean Coasts are urging the public to continue to ‘Think Before You Flush’ as a recent survey has revealed that that more than 30,000 people living in Wexford continue to regularly flush wipes and other sanitary items down the toilet.
Worryingly those aged under 35 are twice as likely to dispose of ‘flushable’ wipes down the toilet, compared to those aged over 35. No wipes whether marked ‘flushable’ or not should be flushed down the toilet.
With sea swimming and the use of our beaches increasingly popular all year-round, it’s a timely reminder that our flushing behaviour has a direct impact on the environment and that making small changes can help prevent sanitary waste ending up on Ireland’s sandy beaches, rocky shores and secluded bays.
A new campaign video targeting under 35 years olds aims to connect with this audience in way that encourages real behavioural change.
Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy who is supporting the campaign, said; “I am delighted to support the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign. For me, it is important that we all play a positive role when it comes protecting the environment. Collectively, small changes can have a huge impact so I would encourage everyone to consider their flushing habits. It is simple really, just ‘Think Before You Flush’”.
Ian O’Mahony, Irish Water said more than 30,000 people living in Co. Wexford were using the toilet as a bin. “The impacts of flushing the wrong things down the toilet are clear to see, as we are still removing thousands of sewer blockages from our network every month and continue to see this waste ending up on our beaches,” he added;
Actually, Irish Water were involved in unblocking sewers in the Abbey Square area of Enniscorthy last week.
The message is simple; “only the 3 Ps, pee, poo and paper should be flushed down the toilet. All other items including wipes and other sanitary products should go in the bin even if they are labelled as flushable.”
“This will reduce the number of sewer blockages, the risk of flooding to homes and businesses and the risk of pollution in the environment harming wildlife such as fish and birds and associated habitats.”
The most common items being flushed down the toilet are hair, wipes (any), paper towels, toilet wipes, dental floss, cleaning wipes, any other type of wipe, tampons, baby wipes, facial wipes, cotton buds, cigarette butts.