One million flush unsuitable items down their toilet in Ireland, survey finds

ireland
One Million Flush Unsuitable Items Down Their Toilet In Ireland, Survey Finds One Million Flush Unsuitable Items Down Their Toilet In Ireland, Survey Finds
Almost one million adults living in Ireland are using their toilet as a bin, a survey found. Photo: PA.
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Fiachra Gallagher

Almost one million adults living in Ireland are using their toilet as a bin, a new survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by Irish Water and conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, found that 18 per cent of under-35s regularly flush unsuitable items down the toilet. The survey was conducted from a sample size of 1,015 people.

Irish Water and Clean Coasts have urged the public to consider what they put down the toilet, launching a 'Think Before You Flush' campaign on Monday.

Waste from toilets can negatively impact our environment, especially coastal areas. Unsuitable items flushed down the toilet can cause blockages in wastewater systmens, ultimately leading to sewer overflows and pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean.

Broadcaster Blánaith Treacy lent her support to the new campaign. "For me, it is important that we all play a positive role when it comes protecting the environment," she said.

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"Collectively, small changes can have a huge impact so I would encourage everyone to consider their flushing habits."

Donal Heaney, of Irish Water, noted that the number of people nationwide flushing the "wrong things" down the toilet has decreased since 2018.

"Our research informed us that 36 per cent of people living in Ireland were regularly flushing the wrong things down the toilet [in 2018].

"Significant progress" has seen this figure drop to 21 per cent, he said.

"Whilst this represents a 42 per cent improvement in peoples flushing behaviour, it still represents almost a million people using the toilet as a bin.

"The impacts of flushing the wrong things down the toilet are clear to see, as we are still removing thousands of sewer blockages from our network every month and continue to see this waste ending up on our beaches."

Sinead McCoy of Clean Coasts also made an appeal to the public: "We are asking everybody to only flush the 3 P’s – pee, poo and paper, and put everything else in the bin."

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