Local accommodation businesses in Galway receive Think Before You Flush resources to help combat sewage related litter and wastewater system blockages. 

The increase in staycations this year means many people will be flocking to popular destinations like Galway. As many working in the hospitality sector unfortunately know, the issue of flushing unsuitable items like wet wipes down the toilet, can have huge implications for our wastewater systems and damage to our marine environment. As part of the Think Before You Flush regional campaign, B&Bs, hotels, hostels, self-catering apartments and campsites in Galway are receiving information and resources about the Think Before You Flush campaign. 

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 causes blockages in our wastewater network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. They can also 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, addressing the issue of flushing these unsuitable items down the toilet. 

This Ssummer, the Think Before You Flush campaign aims to highlight the need for visitors to maintain proper flushing behaviour while staying in B&Bs, hotels, hostels, self-catering apartments and campsites. Almost 2,000 blockages occur in the Irish wastewater network every month, 75% of which are caused by wipes. Raising awareness of this issue reduces the number of blockages created by this behaviour, and local business’ engagement with the campaign will help to get this important message out to a wider audience. Enclosed in the pack is a sample of Think Before You Flush resources for display, as well as some complimentary handmade Irish soap bars and a ‘Gunkpot’, a reusable heatproof container for collecting waste fats, oils and greases into. 

As part of the regional campaign in Galway, the Think Before You Flush campaign are offering: 

  • A range information resources including posters, information leaflets, and infographics that can be displayed in your home, business, clubs or community space. 
  • Awareness events such as school days, business days, and community events. Get in touch with us about organising an awareness event or with your ideas on how to raise awareness. 

Speaking about the campaign Anthony Skeffington, Irish Water, said: “Every day people flush thousands of sanitary items such as wet wipes and cotton bud sticks down the toilet instead of simply putting them in the bin. This causes blockages in our network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. These items can also end up on our beaches. We remove approximately 2,000 blockages from the sewer network and hundreds of tonnes of items like wipes and sanitary products from wastewater treatment plants around the country every month. Working with Clean Coasts we would like to remind people to ‘Think Before You Flush’ and only flush the 3 Ps (pee, poo and paper) down the toilet. We all have a role to play in safeguarding our environment and the wastewater network.” 

Emily O’Carroll, Clean Coasts, said: “We’re delighted to engage with hospitality businesses in Galway City to remind people to ‘Think Before You Flush’ while visiting. The aim of the campaign is to create positive behavioural change and raise awareness about the impact sewage related litter has on our environment and wastewater network. We hope the business and community in Galway will join us in raising awareness by displaying these resources and help spread this important message.” 

Join the campaign at www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org and follow @CleanCoasts on social media.