We have been trying to raise awareness of the dangers of flushing wet wipes down the toilet for a long time, but is just not flushing them good enough? A Labour MP has proposed a new law that would ban all wet wipes that contain plastic on the grounds that a staggering 93% of all blockages in UK sewers are caused by wipes and even if people bin them rather than flush, they still get into the environment where they eventually break down and become microplastics. These tiny particles of plastic can then enter the food chain and water supply.
So, would you be prepared to stop using wipes altogether to protect the environment?
It’s huge. As well as the extraordinary statistic that they are responsible for 93% of blockages, 90% of wipes sold in the UK contain plastic, and in 2019, in just a 2 hour period, 23,000 wipes were found on the shore of the River Thames.
You can hardly blame consumers for not understanding the risks of wet wipes when many toilet wipes clearly state that they are flushable. Regardless of what the manufacturers claim, wet wipes are not safe to flush away. That means not safe for the environment and not safe for your drains either so whether you’re looking at the issue in the context of saving the planet or of avoiding costly blocked drains, it’s something we all need to consider.
The reason you shouldn’t flush them is because they are designed to be wet and not break down – that is their whole purpose. No wonder then that once they make their way into the sewer system, they soak up the gunk and dirt down there and amass until they clog huge spaces up.
Legislation takes a long time to pass, and there’s no guarantee that this motion will even be carried forward (though it is being backed by Water UK and the WWF) but there are things you can do in the meantime:
There is nothing as powerful at influencing the products manufactured by commercial companies as consumer demand. The best way to affect change is to stop buying the harmful products and demand more environmentally friendly alternatives.
If you have been unknowingly potentially harming your own sewage system at home, by flushing wipes away believing them to be safe, and find that your drains are backing up, your toilet doesn’t flush away properly, or there’s a lingering smell which doesn’t go away with cleaning then you may need some investigation. We can often do this without having to dismantle or dig up anything in the first instance. Call us on 0345 577 0151 or complete the enquiry form.
Complete the form below and one of the Plumbcare.com team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Richard and Ash attended to my property when I had water dripping from living room ceiling. They explained everything that needed doing to find the root cause of the issue which included cutting a hole in my living room ceiling where the leak had come through. They made me feel at ease knowing they knew what they were talking about as I was stressing out not being able to use my bathroom facilities with a 5 month old baby in the house. They spent most of the evening outside in the snowy conditions fixing my frozen pipes outside then moving onto the cracked pipe under my shower which had caused the leak. They were both very polite, tidied up after themselves, made as little mess as possible and the hole in my ceiling is a neat little square that our plasterer should be able to fix without it been a big job. I wanted to say thank you to them, they are a credit to your company.