Think Before You Flush


A Marine Litter campaign

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Think Before You Flush

The campaign

The Think Before You Flush initiative raises public awareness about the problem sanitary products (known in the business as Sewage Related Debris or SRD) cause in the sewage system and marine environment if they are flushed down the toilet. In 2014 SRD was thought to be responsible for 253,000 blockages in the UK’s sewer system leading to clean up costs in excess of £80 million.

The campaign also raises the awareness of the environmental impacts of plastics used in sanitary products and calls for a complete ban on plastic components that consistently pollute the marine environment such as cotton bud sticks and micro-beads. The Think Before You Flush initiatives aims to:

  • Create Think Before You Flush communities to help engage the public, raise awareness of the issue and impacts, and encourage responsible bathroom behavior to protect the sewerage infrastructure, sewage system capacity and the marine environment from sewage & plastic pollution.
  • Ensure manufacturers of sanitary products remove plastics to prevent sewage system blockages and plastic beach litter. We are also calling on them to better educate their customers on responsible disposal of sanitary products and, in the case of sanitary wipes, to ensure that they never advise of disposal in the loo.
  • Support a complete ban on micro-beads and other unnecessary plastic elements in cosmetic products.

Support the Think Before You Flush initiative and join us in making small changes in our bathroom behaviour and never use the toilet to dispose of sanitary products.


Get involved

How can you help with this campaign…

  • Remember the Think Before You Flush message in your bathroom and download a free Think Before You Flush leaflet. Download document

Campaign timeline

Key campaign dates