The increase in staycations this year means many people will be flocking to popular destinations like Lahinch.
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 Lahinch are receiving information and resources about the Think Before You Flush campaign.
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 Summer, 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 Lahinch, 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 Margaret Attridge, 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.”
Elaine Doyle, Clean Coasts, said: “We’re delighted to engage with hospitality businesses in Lahinch 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 Lahinch 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.
Think Before You Flush
Think Before You Flush is a public awareness campaign highlighting the problems caused by flushing sanitary products and other items down the toilet. Consequences include blockages in our household plumbing, our wastewater network and littering our marine environment. The campaign is operated by An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme in partnership with Irish Water and has been running since 2015. Each year, the campaign runs regionally in cities, towns and villages across Ireland. The campaign works with the local community, businesses and schools to promote changes in flushing behaviour through workshops, events and clean ups. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to always #thinkb4uflush. www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org
Clean Coasts is a charity programme, run through the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, which engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life. Clean Coasts works with communities to help protect and care for Ireland’s waterways, coastline, seas, ocean and marine life. Clean Coasts thrives to create tangible and immediate improvements to Ireland’s coastal environment, involving thousands of volunteers removing large quantities of marine litter from our coastline each year.
Clean Coasts has grown over the years and now includes two main national clean-up drives. Other initiatives include the Green Coast Award, the Love Your Coast Photography competition, the Clean Coasts Roadshows for coastal communities and the Ocean Hero Awards. All these initiatives are aimed at celebrating the beauty of our coast and the efforts of our volunteers across all of Ireland.
Currently, there are over 1400 registered Clean Coasts volunteering groups. There are a variety of group types such as community groups, residents’ associations, tidy towns groups, sports clubs, schools, businesses, universities etc. Clean Coasts organises hundreds of beach clean-ups annually mobilising thousands of volunteers, removing considerable quantities of marine litter from Ireland’s beaches and waterways. Our volunteering has expanded to also include Corporate Volunteering.