Only flush pee, poo and paper
Did you know that the UK flushes 3.4 billion wet wipes down the toilet each year, making up 94% of the materials causing sewer blockages?
These and other plastic ‘nasties’ such as cotton buds, nappies, period products, contact lenses and more end up down the loo. Once in the sewer system they don’t dissolve, they clump together, creating blockages (the dreaded ‘fatbergs’) that can lead to homes and gardens being flooded. Many of these items or end up in our rivers and seas. Once there, they litter our riverbanks and beds, are eaten by unsuspecting wildlife and pollute the water. Yuk.
But it says ‘flushable’ on the packet?
Don’t believe everything you read! The vast majority of wet wipes are mainly made of woven plastic and don’t break down quickly in water.
City to Sea suggests some brands that are Fine to Flush (meet Water Industry standard), but really you should only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo!
It costs £100 million a year in the UK to get rid of the 300,000 sewer blockages caused mainly by plastic items that shouldn’t be there … and guess who’s paying for that? That’s right, we are through our water bills!
Make ‘Only pee, paper and poo should be flushed down the loo’ your daily mantra.
Here are some tips to get you started:
You can do it!
Bin the wet wipes
It’s time to bin the wet wipes – literally! Put a bin next to your loo so it’s handy to dispose of them after use and consider using an alternative to wet wipes (such as re-useable makeup remover pads) if you can.
Don't flush that plastic, recycle!
If you have room, pop an extra bin in your bathroom so you can recycle any plastics.
A taste of your own medicine
Did you know that medicines flushed down the loo can affect wildlife and water quality?
Always return any unused medicines to your chemist.
Reusable period products have exploded onto the market over the last couple of years. City to Sea‘s website has lots of resources and ideas about how you can have a plastic-free period.
Floss for Eden
Dental floss is great for keeping your mouth clean and healthy, but floss is often made of plastic. When flushed down the loo, the long, stringy pieces of floss tangle easily and help create fatbergs.
Next time you’re shopping why not look for a plastic-free alternative?
Act for Eden - make a stop-motion blockbuster movie!
We’ve joined forces with our friends at Ragtag Arts for a fun activity that can be done at home. We’re calling on kids everywhere to Act for Eden and make a stop-motion film about the river, the wildlife that lives there … and the perils they face from humans!
Step-by-step videos and templates can be found at Act for Eden – make a scrap-motion movie
U.N. Sustainable Development Goals
The action that you’re taking as part of Act for Eden will not just make a difference in your local river and community, it will help transform the world!
This promise has been carefully chosen to meet one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a set of 17 goals set out by the United Nations to focus efforts around the world in order to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” (UN SDG website)
Although major actions are needed by governments, cities and local authorities, it starts with each and every one of us. By keeping your promise to Act for Eden, you are already living and working more sustainably – which is great news for our planet.
You‘ll also be part of a growing community of like-minded people who together, are leading by example and generating a force for change, able to push those in authority to make the transformations required.
All this just by only flushing the 3 P’s – awesome, isn’t it!