‘Think Before You Flush’ and help put a stop to marine litter
19 November 2011
To mark the 10th anniversary of World Toilet Day, Keep Britain Tidy are supporting the call to the producers of sanitary items by Surfers Against Sewage to ensure their packaging carries appropriate disposal information - such as the ‘Bag It And Bin It, Don’t Flush It’ icon.
It is estimated that over 2 billion sanitary items, such as condoms, tampons and wipes are flushed down the toilet every year in the UK; these products end up on the UK’s precious coastline as Sewage Related Debris (SRD). Not only is SRD unsightly it has been shown to carry harmful bacteria and viruses to our beaches and bathing waters and to cause blockages at sewage treatment plants, resulting in sewage spills.
Producers of sanitary items have a responsibility, along with their customers, to minimise the impact that their products have upon the environment, at the very least their products should provide basic disposal information.
Richard McIlwain from Keep Britain Tidy said: “Research carried out by Keep Britain Tidy shows that people give little or no thought to what happens once they have flushed items down the toilet, until they are made aware of the environmental impact of their actions.
“People want to do something positive to help improve the environment and educating people about responsible disposal is vital. The manufacturers have a key role to play in educating their customers and we would urge them all to join the campaign to help clean up our coastline. Litter is everyone’s responsibility and disposing of it correctly is vital if we want to ensure our island’s coastline does not find itself drowning in rubbish.”