Students from the North-West Home Education Group are lending their voices to the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign, urging the people of Buncrana and Donegal to protect their local environment as we approach the busy summer season.
The Think Before You Flush campaign, which is operated by Clean Coasts, in partnership with Uisce Éireann, is now in its seventh year and once again the campaign is working with local communities across Ireland and the North-West Region to raise awareness on the issue of flushing unsuitable items down the toilet and the consequences of doing so. This includes blockages in our wastewater network and treatment plants, sewage overflows and sewage-related litter ending up on our beaches and natural environment. The campaign message is simple. Only flush the 3Ps (pee, poo, and paper) down the toilet – everything else goes in the bin.
Students from the North-West Home Education Group were busy throughout April working closely with Clean Coasts learning about the impact inappropriate flushing behaviour is having on their local environment in Buncrana. The students carried out experiments and undertook their own research as part of this work. Olivia Jones from Clean Coasts said: “Through education and awareness, the Think Before You Flush campaign aims to prevent items like wipes, cotton bud sticks and sanitary items washing up on Ireland’s shores. One of the strengths of the campaign is working with students, such as the North-West Home Education Group who are learning and looking for behavioural change in this area. We know from research carried out that attitudes and flushing behaviours are changing for the better but there is still work to do.”
Talking about the size and scale of the problem associated with flushing the wrong things down the toilet, Anthony Skeffington, Uisce Éireann said: “At wastewater treatment plants right across the Donegal we are removing an increasing volume of wipes and other items from the inlets. Our crews are also dealing with an increasing number of blockages in our sewers, that can cause overflows to the environment. Uisce Éireann responded to approximately 10,000 customer notified blockages in 2022 alone. We are delighted to be working with Clean Coasts and the North-West Home Education Group to raise awareness of this item and encourage teachers, pupils and their families to Think Before You Flush for cleaner communities and environment.”
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