Thursday, March 26, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

‘There are three things that should go into toilets. Put it crudely: pee, poo and paper’ stated a spokeswoman from Keep Britain Tidy. The findings in a recent report about litter on our beaches from the Marine Conservation Society have shown that the number of wet wipes appearing has more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. These cleaning cloths are non-biodegradable so that every time they are put down the loo, they are destined to re-appear on a beach somewhere. Thirty five wipes were found for every kilometre of beach.

Our ‘disposable society’ is responsible for the move towards items that we use once and throw away but apart from this being extremely wasteful with regard to resources, it creates lots more litter because items are not disposed of properly.

Wet wipes do not disintegrate when flushed down the toilet, despite the packaging telling us that they are ‘flushable’ because they contain plastic. They cause many problems within the sewage system where they mix with fat to form blockages which have to be cleared to prevent raw sewage overflowing into rivers and the sea.

Wet wipes also impact on ecosystems. We are lucky enough to have five of the world’s species of turtles visiting our cooler, nutrient rich waters in which to feed but turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their natural prey, with fatal results. Wet wipes present a similar problem.

Wet wipes are a convenient way to deal with spills, but please, don’t put them down the loo!

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