Nearly 45% of Britons ‘wrongly dispose of unflushables’

Three-in-ten are flushing wet wipes, new survey finds

Big Zero Report 2023

Almost 45% of people in the UK have admitted to flushing wet wipes, tampons or sanitary pads.

That’s according to a new survey by Thames Water which shows almost three-in-ten flush wet wipes, with almost 24% of people flushing tampons.

One-in-eight people are flushing nappies.

The poll of 2,000 people also shows that almost 27% of them wouldn’t flush these items if they knew it would cause damage to the environment.

Many of these products contain plastic, do not break down in the water, leading to blockages that can cause sewage pollution.

Yesterday, Yorkshire Water and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have called for a ban on plastics in wet wipes and all single use sanitary items.

They also urged authorities and companies to put mandatory ‘do not flush’ warnings on single use sanitary items packaging.

Anna Boyles, Thames Water operations manager, said: “Not only can these products block your toilets, but they also clump together with cooking fat in the sewers to form fatbergs.

“These blockages can force sewage to back up into your home, through manhole covers in gardens, streets and open spaces, and into rivers and seas.

A few days ago, it was revealed that used nappies were repurposed for a road resurfacing project in Wales.

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