07 May Bin it – Period! – Anglian Water
Okay, most folk wouldn’t mistake a bin for a toilet? Can you imagine it if they did? Yet why do some mistake a loo for a bin! If we drop litter in the street, or dump items on the side of the road, quite rightly we would get fined. So why use the loo as a bin too?
Wipes, tampons, pads, nappies and incontinence pads should all be binned and yet they are flushed down the pan, day after day causing blockages in pipes, choking the life out of pumps and causing pollution to our streets, waterways and seas.
The best thing anyone can do is make sure there is a bin next to their toilet and use it. Let’s also now break the taboo once and for all and start talking openly about periods – half of the population have them after all. We understand some may find this difficult, but this is not a gender issue, so please keep reading even if you don’t personally have a period.
Our survey said – 72 per cent of people use disposable wipes and 41 per cent of tampon users are flushing them instead of putting them in the bin. According to the environmental charity City to Sea, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million pads are flushed every day. They combine with wipes, FFOG (food, fats, oils and grease) to cause 80 per cent of blockages and contribute significantly to pollution incidents. We can help prevent pollution from this kind of waste if we take the simple measure of always making sure there is a bin by the toilet, including in men’s loos. We know that a lot of young men are using wipes and putting them down the toilet.
Call me bombastic, single plastic’s not fantastic – as a company Anglian Water has made a pledge to rid our region of plastic – items such as bottles, bags and a host of other single-use items. 42 per cent of people don’t realise that wipes contain plastic fibres too. Some sanitary products contain up to 90 per cent plastic, and a box of sanitary pads contains the equivalent of five plastic bags.
Ditch the disposables – so what alternatives are there, for those who use disposable wipes and sanitary products? There are plenty:
- Reusable wipes and cloths
- Reusable pads and pants
- Menstrual cups
The Women’s Environmental Network has lots of information, and we shall be sharing very soon other ways to help. The Instagram page, Sustainable.Period is working to educate, raise awareness and end period poverty. Please contact them if you are interested in more information, a workshop for friends and colleagues, or discount codes on products. They are an expert in this field and are passionate about making a difference.
Feeling flushed – All that should go down the loo is the 3Ps, poo, pee and paper (toilet paper). It is quite simple, just look for the Do Not Flush logo on products, which all responsible manufacturers should include on their packaging. Remember, BinIt4Ever!
We do recognise that some people may need to use a disposable wipe from time to time which they would feel more comfortable to flush. It was for this reason that our team worked hard driving the national agenda to achieve a recognised standard for a wipe which was flushable and did not contain microplastics. This was achieved by working with the Water Research Centre. Moist toilet tissue meeting the stringent requirements now include the Fine to Flush logo on their packaging, and it is only these which can be flushed because they break up quickly in pipes.
Collette Parker, Anglian Water Keep It Clear Community Engagement Manager