World Oceans Day reminds us all of the actions we can take to help protect and conserve our oceans. It’s a chance for us to change behaviour, challenge others and celebrate one of our greatest natural assets.
We work with our partners including Marine Conservation Society, Keep Britain Tidy, Surfers Against Sewage, water companies, local authorities and others to raise awareness through #BinIt4Beaches campaigns. BinIt4Beaches focuses on the positive steps we can all take to protect beaches, bathing waters and wildlife. One of those steps is what we flush down the loo.
Plastic pollution comes in all shapes and sizes and from multiple sources, including our toilets. Sewage related debris – the term used for items such as wet wipes, plastic cotton bud sticks, tampon applicators, sanitary towels and nappies, is regularly found littering our beaches and waters because it’s been incorrectly flushed down the loo.
Last year, Marine Conservation Society reported that over 18,000 items of sewage related debris were collected from beaches during the Great British Beach Clean 2018. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The majority of items incorrectly flushed down the toilet are caught by filters at the waste water treatment plants; the recorded items found on the beach survey are those which are either too small for the filters, or are the result of a sewage overflow after heavy rain.
While the figures recorded by Marine Conservation Society during last year’s beach clean are slightly down on 2017 they are still shockingly high. The number of wet wipes alone littering beaches represents a 300% increase over the last decade.
Toilets are not bins, they are meant only for the 3Ps; pee, poo and paper. Flushing items such as wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton bud sticks isn’t disposing of them, it’s environmental littering.
Help us and together we can protect and restore our ocean. #BinIt4Beaches.
Happy World Oceans Day!