On the day that Keem Beach on Achill Island has been named as the nation’s favourite seaside resort, Irish Water is urging Mayo householders not to take the county’s stunning coastline and beautiful beaches for granted.
A new Think Before You Flush campaign has just been launched by An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Campaign to mitigate against the growing incidence of sanitary-related waste being found on local beaches and shorelines.
Irish Water, which is supporting the campaign, says the impacts of this waste is readily evident along the Mayo and Sligo coastlines in the form of waste like wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products and other unsuitable items.
This is happening because people are choosing to dispose of this waste down the toilet instead of putting it in the bin and the Think Before You Flush campaign urges that only the three Ps – pee, poo and paper – should be flushed down the toilet.
While the wastewater treatment process provides for the removal of this type of solid waste some of it will not make it to the wastewater treatment plant and its build up can ultimately cause sewer overflows and plastic pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean.
Re-educating the public about the impacts of this is more important than ever in a year when our consumption of antibacterial wipes has sky-rocketed due to the Covid-19 virus.
Michael Breen from Enniscrone’s Tidy Towns Committee has first-hand experience of the impact of inappropriately dumped waste and says marine litter like plastics, together with sanitary waste, plastic gloves and hand wipes is becoming more evident along the Sligo beach:
”I would ask people to enjoy the beach but to also respect it and to consider other users especially children who play in the sand.
“I would also ask people to bring home all their litter and to participate in coastal clean-ups.
“People should be aware that items other than the 3 Ps should never be flushed down toilets – we don’t want those items on our beaches. People should heed the Think Before You Flush campaign.”
For more information visit https://www.water.ie/wastewater/issues/think-before-you-flush/