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'Think Before You Flush'

Wednesday, 25th November, 2015 1:01am

A new initiative has been launched to tackle the problems that sanitary products can cause for the wastewater network and marine environment if they are flushed down the toilet.

Every day people flush thousands of sanitary items such as baby wipes and cotton bud sticks down the toilet instead of putting them in the bin.

In a study of over 1,000 Irish people, 3 in 10 admitted to flushing such items down the toilet. Of these, 58% admitted to flushing baby wipes down the toilet, 40% facial wipes, 26% cotton bud sticks, 24% tampons and 21% cigarette butts.

Speaking at the launch of ‘Think Before You Flush’ Community Initiative in Galway, Beckey Finn Britton, Coastal Programmes Officer An Taisce said, “The Think Before You Flush campaign through education and awareness aims to prevent items like wet wipes clogging our wastewater network and cotton bud sticks washing up on our beaches.” She added, “I am looking forward to helping to make Galway Ireland’s first Think Before You Flush community.”

Irish Water also this week presented the Think Before You Flush Ocean Hero Award to Mercy Secondary School, Galway City for their project called ‘Wet Wipe Hype’. The prestigious Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards are awarded to groups and individuals to acknowledge their efforts in protecting the marine environment.

The Mercy Transition Year students had launched an awareness campaign highlighting the issue of flushing wet wipes down the toilet after a large number of wet wipes entangled in seaweed were discovered during a beach clean at Nimmo’s Pier at The Claddagh two years earlier.

For more information on the new campaign visit www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org.

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