Sligo locals team up with the Clean Coasts and Irish Water’s Think Before You Flush campaign for a new video showcasing the beautiful Sligo coastline, while urging people not to flush unsuitable items down the toilet. 

In a brand new video produced by the Think Before You Flush campaign, people living and visiting Sligo are encouraged to keep their local environment; beaches and riverways clean by only flushing the 3 P’s – pee, poo and paper, down the toilet and putting wipes, sanitary items and cotton bud sticks in the bin. 

This video features recognisable faces from Sligo: Francie Boylan, radio presenter at Ocean FM; Yvonne Lang, lecturer at Sligo IT; and community leader, kayaker and beach cleaner Martina Butler. Environmental Awareness Officer for Sligo County Council, Pete Murtagh, and Irish Water Environmental Scientist and sea swimmer, Mary O’Hara, also feature in the video.  

Filmed and edited by local videographer Fionn Rogers, this video showcases the beautiful and diverse coastline and waterways Sligo has to offer. Presenting stunning shots of Enniscrone, Rosses Point, Mullaghmore and Doorly Park, the video is a celebration of Sligo’s wonderful natural environment, while offering simple steps to help conserve and protect it, directly from home. 

The video urges the people of Sligo to make small changes in their flushing behaviour, by never flushing items like wipes, cotton buds and sanitary waste down the toilet. The video highlights the impacts of flushing unsuitable items and encourages positive behavioural change. 

Why #ThinkB4UFlush? 

Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to disintegrate quickly in our pipes and sewage systems, the synthetic materials in items like wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products makes them very strong and unable to break down. When these unsuitable items are flushed down the toilet, they can cause blockages in our wastewater network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. These blockages can result in surface water overflows which can end up on our beaches and in our oceans, damaging our marine environment. Think Before You Flush is a public awareness campaign operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water, which addresses the issue of flushing these unsuitable items down the toilet. 

Speaking about the campaign, Olivia Jones, Clean Coasts Development Officer for the North West said: “Sligo has some of the most scenic beaches and waterways in Ireland and behind those pristine sites are numerous Clean Coasts’ groups who for many years have done an amazing job in protecting their environment through awareness raising and regular clean-ups.  Unfortunately, some of the litter collected on these clean-ups comes directly from our bathrooms, such as flushed cotton buds, and wet wipes. As a result, we are asking you the public to help keep our coast and waterways clean without even leaving your home by taking the time to ‘Think Before You Flush’. 

Talking about the size and scale of the problem associated with flushing the wrong things down the toilet, Mary O’Hara, Irish Water said: “In Sligo items such as wipes, sanitary products, hair, dental floss  are flushed down the toilet every day instead of simply putting them in the bin. Every year in Sligo we clean hundreds of  blockages caused by items like wipes from our wastewater network, which is having a knock-on effect on our local environment. 

Mary continued: “We are appealing to everyone who enjoys Sligo’s beautiful coastlines, waterways and the various water activities such as swimming, surfing, kayaking etc to help us keep our local environment free of sewage related litter. A simple solution is to only flush the 3 P’s – pee, poo and paper down the toilet and throw wipes and other sanitary products in the bin. This summer, we are asking you to Think Before You Flush.” 

Check out the video here on Ocean FM’s Facebook page or Clean Coasts’ YouTube channel.