The evidence: The damage we’re doing to our sewers and seas

The nation was captivated when we helped to unearth the colossal Whitechapel fatberg in 2017, which has gone on to be the subject of TV programmes, radio shows and a museum exhibition. But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scale of the problem in our sewers and waterways.

Items that should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain are wreaking havoc beneath the ground. Hidden plastics in products like nappies, tampons and cotton buds are making their way into the oceans and harming marine life. Disposable wipes are being flushed down the toilets but never disintegrate in the way that toilet paper does, causing large-scale blockages and piling up on our shores. They combine with fats, oil and grease that is tipped down the sink to form a solid, almost indestructible mass.

When you flush something down the toilet and it’s quickly out of sight, it’s easy to assume that any problems have disappeared. Packaging on products like wipes and tampons may well indicate that the items are ‘flushable’, but all this means is that they can be flushed through your toilet system without causing a blockage in your home. This does not mean that they should be flushed. In fact, the only things that should be flushed are the three Ps; pee, poo and paper; everything else should be placed in the bin.

We have surveyed the nation to unearth your thoughts on this issue, and it turns out the majority of you are aware of the problem and agree that something must be done. But do you know the full extent of it? Take a look at our infographic that highlights some of the key research and data. We would love to hear your thoughts and how this might change your habits in the future.


lanes-for-drains-infographic-The damage we’re doing to our sewers and seas
A detailed infographic highlighting the impact that pour Fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain has as well as the impacts that flushing “flushable” wipes and various other items down the drains has on our drainage network, sewers and oceans.

For a copy of our infographic click here to view, print or download.

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