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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Condoms, food and nappies - these are among the things being flushed down Irish toilets


Image: Shutterstock/Tortoon

IRISH ADULTS ARE flushing plenty of items other than toilet paper down the toilet.

A new survey has found that one in five people have flushed condoms and cigarette butts down the toilet, but baby wipes were the biggest offender with almost three in five people admitting to this.

The survey of 1,033 adults by Clean Costs, which is owned and operated by An Taisce, found lack of knowledge to be the primary reason for the sewage-related littering.

These are the top items that are being flushed down Irish toilets:

  • Baby wipes 58%
  • Facial wipes 40%
  • Cotton buds 26%
  • Tampons 24%
  • Cigarette butts 21%
  • Plasters 18%
  • Condoms 18%
  • Food 15%
  • Medicines 12%
  • Sanitary pads 6%
  • Tampon applicators 5%
  • Toilet roll tube 4%
  • Nappies 2%
  • Cotton wool 1%
  • Dental floss 1%

A community initiative, Think Before You Flush, will see eight communities working with Clean Coasts and Irish Water to increase awareness of sewage related litter.

Educational workshops for schools and businesses as well as community information events will be held to change poor flushing behaviour.

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The ‘Think Before You Flush’ Communities for 2017 are:

  1. Galway City
  2. Balbriggan, Dublin
  3. Ballycotton, Cork
  4. Birr, Offaly
  5. Wexford Town, Wexford
  6. Dingle, Kerry
  7. Bettystown, Meath
  8. Virginia, Cavan
  9. Tramore, Waterford

Regional Information Specialist at Irish Water Grainne Carey said, “By making small changes in our flushing behaviour we can prevent the harm caused by sewage related litter in the marine environment.’’

Read: You might think twice before using wet wipes again…>

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