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Kerry urged to think before flushing

Clean Coasts and Irish Water are asking the Kerry public to think before they flush on World Toilet Day this Friday

THE people of Kerry have been urged to think before they flush as part of a major environmental awareness campaign undertaken by the Clean Coasts and Irish Water organisations.

This Friday, November 19, has been designated UN World Toilet Day which is aimed at raising awareness of the 3.6 billion people worldwide living without access to safely managed sanitation.

To mark the day, campaigners are asking the people of Kerry to consider the issue of flushing unsuitable items down the toilet to prevent blockages in the wastewater network and treatment plants, surface water overflows and sewage-related litter on beaches and in oceans.

A fatberg formed in a sewer comprising wet wipes, fats, oils and greases

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 to the wastewater network and the marine environment.

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager with Clean Coasts, remarked: “We are asking people of to re-evaluate their flushing behaviour and only flush the 3 Ps – pee, paper and poo – down the loo, popping all other items into the bin.

“When other items are flushed they cause issues for our wastewater system and can have a harmful impact on our natural environment,” she added.
a light on the importance of World Toilet Day.”

Clean Coasts is a charity programme, run through the environmental education unit of An Taisce, which engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life.

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  • Every day thousands of unsuitable items are flushed down toilets in Ireland instead of being put in the bin. This causes blockages in our wastewater systems, ultimately leading to sewer overflows and pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean.
  • One in four adults (24%) regularly admit to flushing items down the toilet that are known to cause blockages in our wastewater network and treatment plants.
  • Historically, the flushing of wipes were the most common items causing blockages in our wastewater network, leading to environmental pollution.
  • Over the last three-year period there has been a positive 38% reduction in people flushing wipes down the toilet but more than one in 10 people still admit to flushing wipes down the toilet.
  • The most common items being flushed down the toilet are hair, wipes, paper towels, toilet wipes, dental floss, tampons, baby wipes, cotton buds and cigarette butts.
  • The frequency of sewage-related littering is highest in younger age profiles with a third of under 35s admitting to regularly flushing unsuitable items down the toilet compared to the average of 24% for all adults