only flush paper, poo and pee, plastics don’t belong in the sea!

According to the Marine Conservation Society – who have been gathering beach clean data in the UK for more than 10 years – 8.5% of all the plastic found on our beaches is coming directly from our toilets. We are literally flushing the health of the oceans down the pan.

The toilet is not a bin! Most of our sewers were built in the Victorian era – we didn’t even use toilet paper back then, let alone any of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ that can block our sewers and then overflow into our homes, our streets and our waterways. Find out more about unflushables here. 


The dirty dozen are the 12 most commonly flushed items in our homes. These cause blockages and massive environmental issues. Of the dirty dozen, 11 usually contain plastic and will degrade into microplastics. Wet wipes alone make up 93% of all matter causing sewage blocks.

What are City to Sea doing about it?

We’ve launched a public awareness campaign to raise awareness of the dirty dozen and educate people on what should be going down our toilets – only the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo! We’re also trialing a sticker campaign – on toilet doors in public spaces, Universities, cafes and restaurants in the Anglian Water region to help change flushing behavior so that people know what they should and shouldn’t be flushing where it matters.

It’s Bog Standard.

To coincide with World Toilet Day we ran a Toilet Tour across Brentwood, Chelmsford and Cambridge! Dozens of amazing volunteers and partners helped us put Bog Standard stickers in the toilet cubicles of Brentwood Kitchen, Starbucks, Pret a Manger, The Works, Nandos, Zizzi’s, Giraffe, Slug & Lettuce, Turtle Bay, Wilkin & Co, Tiptree Tea Rooms, Chicken & Frog, Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities & both Cambridge and Brentwood Councils. We even got Cllr. Rosy Moore (Exec Cllr for Environmental Services in Cambridge) to sit on the bog with us!

What can I do to help?

  • To help keep our seas plastic-free, only flush the 3P’s – paper, poo and pee – EVERYTHING else goes in the bin. It’s Bog Standard!
  • Put an extra bin in your bathroom so that binning is just as easy as flushing. If you have space why not have a little bin for recycling too!
  • Keep an eye out for our national Bog Standard campaign when you will be able to get your hands on our Bog Standard stickers to put up in the bathroom at your workplace.
  • Find out how to have zero-waste, Plastic-Free Period– better for your health, for your wallet and for the ocean.
  • Buy cotton buds with paper stems rather than plastic. Find out how we campaigned for UK the retailers to ‘switch the stick.’
  • Ditch single use wipes and give reusable make-up wipes, cleansing pads and nappies a try!