Soup, Cigarettes and Toy Spiders Blocking Britain’s Drains
A Lanes Group survey has identified a combination of bad habits and poor public understanding as contributors to a reported surge in fatbergs and drainage issues during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdowns.
Items Brits Have Flushed Down the Toilet
According to the survey participants admitted to flushing wet wipes labelled as “flushable” (39 per cent of survey participants) and tampons (31 per cent), with other items commonly disposed of in that manner that are associated with fatbergs and blockages, including:
- Dental floss
- Toy spider
- Hair (common answer)
- Nail clippings
- Hot fat from cooked meat
The company particularly cautions against flushing wet wipes, plasters, cotton buds or any other plastic-containing items down toilets (regardless of whether packaging indicates items are “flushable”), and will be hosting a series of community events in October under the “Unblocktober” hash tag to raise awareness of environmental issues associated with poor waste disposal practices.
Haylie Orton, group marketing manager, explains: “This national survey has provided us with a fascinating insight into people’s habits and awareness when it comes to what they put down the drain and sewers and the impact their behaviour can have on the environment.
“We can see that, despite there being some awareness around fatbergs, there is still some way to go in terms of educating the public on how they are unintentionally adding to the problem.
“We’re excited to run Unblocktober for the third year in a row in order to challenge the public to change their behaviour. If we all make tiny changes at home this can have a huge impact on the environment as a whole, we just need to harness the conversation around plastic pollution and environmental issues and give people the knowledge they need to make a change for good.
“Our survey results show that the British public want to do their bit, so now I urge local and national governments to make it easy for people to help the environment and ensure the infrastructure is there to make this as convenient as possible.”