Plastic pollution is damaging the health of our oceans. From plankton to pilot whales, algae to albatross — no ocean life remains free from the effects of plastic waste … it’s even found in the seafood we eat.
Here in the UK, millions of people are flushing single-use plastic down the toilet in the form of wipes, menstrual products and other bathroom products like cotton buds and tooth-flossers. With a growing population and growth in the number of products likely to be flushed, combined with increasing marketing spends from manufacturers and cosmetics industry, we are witnessing an increasing strain on the sewer network and a steady rise in the amount of sewage-related debris on our riverbanks and coastlines. Feel free to use and share our films to help raise awareness and stop plastic pollution from our toilets!
Flushed plastics make up 6.2% of beach litter in the UK, and that figure keeps on climbing each year. Here at City to Sea we’re working hard to reverse that trend and help connect our actions to our oceans, from bog to beach!
Building on the success of our Switch the Stick campaign, we’re now focusing on these throughout 2017 …
Plastic pollution and littering from flushed wipes is on the rise – last year the Marine Conservation Society recorded over 14 wet wipes were found per 100 metres of coastline, a rise of 700% over the last decade. And in April this year, over 4,500 wet wipes were found on one 154m sq patch of foreshore.
Find out more about the issue and what we’re doing here.
Disposable Menstrual Products
Here in the UK we use a whopping 4.3 billion disposable menstrual products every year – creating a vast amount of non-recyclable waste. It’s estimated that in the UK about 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million period pads are flushed down the toilet every day. As with wet wipes, these block drains and sewer pipes, costing the UK £88 million a year – a cost we pick up through our water bills.
Plastic applicators are being found on our beaches in their thousands, and most tampons contain plastic. The average box of pads contains approximately the same amount of slow-to-degrade plastic as five carrier bags! So what can we do about it?
Find out more about our Plastic Free Periods campaign and how we’re campaigning to keep plastic from menstrual products out of our toilets.
It’s bog standard
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 trialling a sticker campaign – on toilet doors in public spaces, Universities, cafes and restaurants in the Anglian Water region to help change flushing behaviour so that people know what they should and shouldn’t be flushing where it matters. Find out more about it here.