The Bag It and Bin It Campaign
Creating your own compost bin, recycling and reusing materials, buying canvas bags to use during shopping, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives… The significant benefits of leading a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle has encouraged many of us to make small changes in our daily routine.
What is the Bag It & Bin It Campaign?
The Bag It and Bin It Campaign is a water industry-led initiative to encourage people not to flush their discarded ‘personal products’ down the toilet. It is a nationwide effort to prevent blockages which pollute beaches and rivers and can lead to homes becoming flooded.
Every year in the UK, we flush away two billion items which are not designed to be put down the toilet. The sewage systems and treatment works currently in place across the country are built to deal with human waste and water, and cannot withstand this large intake of non-biodegradable items. The blockages which are created as a result can put homes in much greater risk of being flooded and can cause waterways to become polluted.
What can and can’t be flushed?
The only matter which can be disposed of down the toilet is human waste (excrement and urine) and toilet paper. All wet wipes, including beauty, baby and bathroom, must be bagged and binned as they are not designed to be flushed down the toilet and can create blockages.
Similarly, all sanitary items, including towels, tampons and applicators, and disposable nappies cannot be disposed of down the toilet. This is because such items can block the public sewerage system and damage bar screens which are used in the pretreatment stages to filter out the waste. The damage which can be inflicted onto these screens during periods of heavy rainfall can cause flushed sanitary waste to escape and pollute rivers and beaches. In turn, this creates a serious health hazard, harming wildlife and becoming an eyesore in the process.
Other items which must not be flushed include:
- Cotton buds and cotton wool
- Bandages, plasters and dental floss
- Razors and blades/syringes and needles
- Incontinence pads
Millions of pounds have been invested into upgrading and building new waste water treatment systems. However, this programme will take years to complete, so why not give a helping hand and make changes straightaway by following the Bag It & Bin It Campaign?
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