Social enterprise Hey Girls has launched an awareness campaign highlighting the environmental cost of flushing period products down the toilet.
It is estimated from a study conducted by the Journal of the Institution of Environmental Sciences that 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million period pads are flushed down the toilet every single day in the UK. Many of these items not only contribute to expensive sewer blockages but can also end up in the ocean,
Hey Girls, produce an organic, plastic free and disposable range of products and have now added ‘do not flush’ warnings on their wrappers.
Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls said:
Far too many people simply do not realise that period products should NEVER be flushed down the loo and should always be disposed of responsibly.
Scottish Water on average attends 96 blockages every day across the country, with eight out of ten being caused by the wrong items being put into the sewer network at a cost of £6.5million annually. Marine Conservation Society data shows that 5.4 pieces of litter identified as menstrual waste are found per 100m of beach in Scotland.
Scott Fraser, Communities Manager at Scottish Water, said:
Scotland’s beaches are beautiful and we want to do all we can to keep them that way. Flushing the wrong items can cause blockages and damage the sewers and ultimately the environment including rivers and oceans. The only things which should go down the loo are the 3 Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper
A huge percentage of conventional period products also contain harmful and often hidden levels of plastic which can be ingested by sea life and will not break down naturally, only contributing further to the rising levels of plastic waste in the ocean as well as endangering wildlife.
The campaign coincided with this year’s Great British Beach Clean, where people were asked to adopt a 100m stretch of beach and organise their own beach cleans, with smaller groups of friends, family and ‘bubbles’, in line with government guidance.
Photo: Hey Girls