7 steps to a river-friendly bathroom

Wet wipe woe!

After one of the wettest winters on record our rivers are not looking their best. Tangled in trees that line the riverbanks are hundreds of wet wipes, which could only have come from one place… the toilet.

Our sewage treatment works are only designed to hold a limited capacity of water. During events of high rainfall, the sewers often get overloaded and this could lead to them flooding into our streets and homes. To prevent this from happening the sewage treatment works are designed to release some of this excess water into the river system… and within that sewage is thousands of wipes and other sanitary products. What’s worse is these products actually block up sewers, increasing flooding risk even more!

Removing the wipes takes time, energy and money (adding to everyone’s water bills). As well as being unsightly they pose a real risk to nature, creating tangled webs of plastic in the trees. As they slowly break down, the wipes release small plastic fibres into the water which enter the food chain.

You can pledge to #Stopflushingwipes today.

wipes gif

Want a river-friendly bathroom? Follow these seven steps:

  • Remember the 3 P’s – only pee, poo and paper are legally allowed to be flushed down the toilet.
  • Dispose of sanitary products in a bin or use a reusable menstrual cup. More and more women are switching to reusable products which are better for the environment, your health and your wallet!
  • Cotton buds – look out for brands with paper sticks and make sure they go in the bin!
  • For removing make-up, try flannels and fabric make-up pads which can be popped in the washbox and reused.
  • What goes down the drain can ultimately end up in the river. Eco-friendly cleaning sprays are on the market. On a budget? Try a spray made up of distilled vinegar and a splash of water.
  • Reduce single-use plastics and prevent them entering the river altogether. Use liquid hand soap? Either get your plastic bottle refilled at a zero-waste shop or go for a traditional bar of soap. Plastic toothbrushes are estimated to take 400 years to degrade, so try a bamboo brush instead.
  • Think about your water use. In the UK we use on average, 141 litres of water per person per day. Dirty water ends up in the sewers, risking overflow – so shower more, bath less and check your cistern has a water saving device.

… Enjoy your bathroom knowing that you are on nature’s side!