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Clean Coasts & Irish Water Are Asking You to ‘Think Before You Flush’ on World Toilet Day

19th November 2021
Clean Coasts and Irish Water are asking you to ‘Think Before You Flush’ on World Toilet Day
Clean Coasts and Irish Water are asking you to ‘Think Before You Flush’ on World Toilet Day Credit: Naoise Culhane

This Friday (November 19th) is UN World Toilet Day, a day to celebrate toilets and raise awareness of the 3.6 billion people worldwide living without access to safely managed sanitation. To mark the day, the Think Before You Flush campaign are asking you to value your toilet. Let’s look after our toilets and environment by only flushing the 3 P’s: pee, poo and paper, and putting everything else in the bin.

To launch the sixth year of the campaign, Clean Coasts and Irish Water are inviting the public to join the celebration of World Toilet Day. Think Before You Flush is a public awareness campaign operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water. The campaign addresses the issue of flushing unsuitable items down the toilet and highlights the consequences: blockages in our wastewater network and treatment plants; surface water overflows; and sewage-related litter on our beaches and in our oceans, damaging our marine environment.

Recent research has found that one in four adults (24%) regularly admit to flushing items down the toilet that are known to cause blockages, causing detrimental effects on the wastewater network and the marine environment. Let’s value our toilets and look after our environment by only flushing the 3 P’s: pee, poo and paper. To celebrate World Toilet Day, Think Before You Flush are giving away a year’s supply of sustainable toilet paper. To enter, pledge to Think Before You Flush by heading to www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org.

A fatberg formed in a sewer in Dublin comprising wet wipes and fats, oils and greases (FOGs)A fatberg formed in a sewer in Dublin comprising wet wipes and fats, oils and greases (FOGs)

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, Clean Coasts said: There are still so many people across the world that don’t have access to proper sanitation, so for UN World Toilet Day we are asking people of to re-evaluate their flushing behaviour, respect your toilet and Think Before You Flush. Only flush the 3 P’s – pee, paper and poo – down the loo, and pop all other items into the bin. As when other items are flushed they cause issues for our wastewater system and can have a harmful impact on our natural environment.

Talking about the size and scale of the problem associated with flushing the wrong things down the toilet, Tom Cuddy, Irish Water said: “Every day people flush thousands of sanitary items such as wet wipes and cotton buds down the toilet instead of simply putting them in the bin. This causes blockages in our network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. We clear approximately 2,000 blockages from our wastewater network every month.
Tom continued: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Clean Coasts to deliver this important campaign together. We would like to thank the public for their ongoing support in the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign and together with Clean Coasts shine a light on the importance of World Toilet Day.”

Published in Coastal Notes
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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