Lucas is into everything now, moving things to where he thinks they should be and trying to get into things I would rather he didn’t. The other day I found his shoes in the cupboard with my pans, his books under the bathroom sink and Lucas ready to empty the contents of the bin. With this in mind, it doesn’t surprise me that when asked what their kids had sent for a swim down the loo, parents said these were the most common:

• Cardboard middle of the loo roll – 37%
• Toys – 17%
• Bars of soap – 17%
• Food – 15%
• Lego – 12%
• Money – 6%
• Clothing – 5%
• Keys – 3%
• Jewellery – 2%

Water company United Utilities are on a mission to stop people flushing the wring things down the loo, especially wet wipes, whether they are baby wipes or the ones advertised as flushable toilet wipes.

In a survey of 1000 people, a quarter said they flush baby wipes down the toilet, a third of whom do so more than once a week. Given that we use between 1,500 and 2,500 baby wipes per child from the day they are born to the age of three (source Euromonitor) – that’s an awful lot of wipes going down our drains!

These wipes are causing massive problems for our sewer systems and the environment because, even if they say they are flushable, they don’t break down like toilet tissue.

Instead they snag on pipe joints causing significant blockages, particularly when they also mix with fats, oils and grease that gets poured down our drains.

Water companies have to spend millions to unblock public pipes. United Utilities tackles around 25,000 blockages, costing around £10 million, each year.

Homeowners can also be hit with a hefty bill as all too often, the blockage occurs in pipes on their property. On average, it costs around £99 to call out a plumber to fix blocked domestic pipes/toilets. Many people don’t know that water companies aren’t responsible for fixing blockages on domestic properties and that insurance companies often won’t pay out if the problem was caused by items flushed other than the three Ps.

As well as blocking our sewers, flushing wipes is also bad for the environment. For example, the number of wet wipes washing up on beaches in the UK increased by more than 50% last year, according to a report published by the Marine Conservation Society’s.

All these issues can be avoided by binning wipes rather than flushing them. We should only be flushing the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper.

United Utilities have put together a parent pack full of activities and information. They are also running a competition where you can win one of 30 £25 Boots vouchers.


Think Before You Flush #3PPromise

*Collaboration with United Utilities


12 Comments on Think Before You Flush #3PPromise

  1. I must admit on a few occasions I’ve flushed wipes down the loo i think I better stop. Also I never thought about the ones that say they are flusahble as u would assume that they were ok.

  2. We use cloth wipes for the kids bums and to wipe their hands so no wipes going down the toilet from us. I think they should be contacting the toilet paper companies making the wipes that say flushable to maybe stop putting that on the packaging if its obviously causing problems, we dont use them but if i did i wouldn’t of known that it was bad to flush them. Great post 🙂

  3. Flushed wipes are such a menace, as well as sanitary products – most plumbing in the UK just can’t handle it, without even considering the problems it causes once it reaches the sewer network. I get really passionate about the issue! lol. x

  4. I never flush wipes whether it says I can or not, I find it odd and a plumber friend of mine told me it was just a nightmare x

  5. Tissue for toilet, wipes for the bin. That’s our saying at home.
    My goodness, I will never forget how annoyed my parents were when I shoved a whole toilet roll down the toilet. It was a nightmare!!

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