Clean Coasts and Uisce Éireann were delighted to meet Lord Mayor or Cork, Deirdre Forde last week on World Home Economics Day to sign our Think Before You Flush pledge. The Think Before You Flush campaign is a public awareness campaign run by Clean Coasts in partnership with Uisce Eireann. The main message of the campaign is simple, only flush the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper – throw all other waste in the bin. Flushing unsuitable items down the toilet can result in blockages and the possibility of sewage related litter ending up in our waterways and on our beautiful beaches, of which Cork boasts many. This litter can impact the marine life that inhabits the waterways.
The theme of this year’s World Home Economics Day was waste literacy. It focused on understanding the origins of waste and how to properly dispose of waste. The Think Before You Flush campaign focuses on understand the impact of flushing sewage-related waste and how to dispose of such waste properly. If waste such as wipes or cotton buds are flushed in error, they can end up travelling from the toilet, through the wastewater network, into our lakes, rivers and the ocean and end up on the beach as litter. This waste is the third largest category of beach litter and can pose a danger to wildlife.
While the number of people regularly flushing the wrong things down the toilet has decreased by 15% since 2018, there is still more work to be done. Just like the Lord Mayor of Cork, Deirdre Forde, you too can pledge to Think Before You Flush but simply logging on to our website – thinkbeforeyouflush.org. By pledging your support, you will be taking individual responsibility to behave more conscientiously regarding the disposal of sanitary waste and let people around you know about the campaign and simple ways that they too can help.
Elaine from Clean Coasts spoke about the event, “It was great to meet the Lord Mayor or Cork and have her support for the campaign. Signing the pledge is simple but spreading the message of the campaign makes a big impact, the more people who sign up the closer we get to moving to 0% who flush in error.
Speaking after the meeting, Margaret Attridge of Uisce Éireann said: “We welcome the Lord Mayor of Cork’s support for the Think Before You Flush campaign. Everyday thousands of unsuitable items are flushed down toilets across Ireland instead of being put in the bin. More than 110,000 people in Cork still use their toilet as a bin. This causes blockages in our wastewater systems, ultimately leading to sewer overflows and pollution in our rivers, on our beaches and in the ocean. The flushing of wipes is one of the most common items causing blockages in our wastewater network, leading to environmental pollution.”
What Can We Do?
Sign the pledge and spread the news and always Think Before You Flush.