Anglian Water is joining forces this week with a growing coalition of charities, organisations and activists to raise awareness of the environmental impact caused by menstrual products as part of the first Environmenstrual Week of Action.
The water company is sponsoring the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) in their week-long campaign to highlight the problems caused by plastics in wrongfully disposed of sanitary products.
Research has shown that half of UK women flush their tampons and sanitary pads down the toilet, culminating in almost two billion menstrual items in the sewage system each year and contributing to the issue of plastics entering our rivers and seas.
Anglian Water’s ‘Keep It Clear’ campaign is already working to change attitudes and behaviours around people’s flushing habits and highlighting about the importance of preventing environmental damage by only flushing the three P’s down the loo – pee, poo and (toilet) paper.
Rachel Dyson, Manager of Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear campaign said: “We want to raise awareness of the problems caused by people wrongly flushing sanitary products down the toilet. Every year we clear around 40,000 blockages from our sewers – 80% of which are completely avoidable and are made up of sanitary products along with wipes, fats, oils and greases.
“These blockages can not only cause problems for you at home, but clogged sewer pipes can cause unpleasant smells, flooding of untreated sewage into homes and gardens, and ultimately can end up in our rivers, seas and beaches.”
In June this year, Anglian Water announced their plans to form a plastics coalition to rid the East of England from problem plastics by 2030. This ambitious pledge will tackle all plastic waste which isn’t reusable, recyclable or compostable across the region. As thousands of tonnes of unflushable products are removed from used water by the water company every single day, the Keep It Clear campaign makes up a vital part of this work.
The Environmenstrual Week of Action runs from the 13 to 20 October and culminates in an Environmenstrual Festival at City Hall in London. Visit www.wen.org.uk/weekofaction/ for more information about the week and how you can get involved.
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