Eco-Tips: Flushing Away

Whilst caring for our bodies, we can be paying more attention to how our bathroom routines affect the planet. What is good for our planet is also good for us, and this works in reverse too. When we are being kind to the environment, we benefit from its natural processes. At ATURA we aim to help raise awareness on how our actions impact nature, and how we can improve our habits. This is the first of our eco-tips posts.

don't flush your waste

Don’t flush your trash! 

The toilet is for body waste and cleaning product. Preferably a biodegradable, eco-friendly cleaning product that can dissipate naturally in the environment. Certainly nothing plastic.

There are many everyday items that get flushed away- out of sight, out of mind. But they can reek havoc on our ecosystems.

Feminine hygiene products. I have lived with other girls who have flushed tampons, pads and pantyliners. Plumbing systems are not designed for these large, absorbent items. These products have plastic elements to them and their chemical components leak into waterways.

Condoms. You may want to hide these away where no-one can find, but the bottom of a rubbish bin is much kinder to the environment.

Wet wipes (even the ones that say they are ok to flush still take a long time to break down). These have become a go-to item for many precious bums. They are made with much stronger fibres than toilet paper. The Marine Conservation Society has recently launched a campaign against wet wipes as they are ending up on our beaches. 

Pills/ drugs of any sort. I didn't realise this was an issue but a lot of people throw old prescriptions, unfinished antibiotics and hormonal contraceptive pills down the toilet. These dissolve in waterways, destroying beneficial bacteria and interfering with aquatic animal reproductive cycles. 

Dental floss. Floss is made from non biodegradable materials- commonly nylon. This string-like product tangles around pipes and eventually in the ocean, strangles and drowns aquatic animals and sea birds.

Cotton swabs/buds. It is a common misconception that cotton is soft and delicate. Although plant based, cotton is actually fibrous and durable and takes a long time to break down.

Basically everything. Even paper that isn’t toilet paper.

Toilets don't operate like garbage disposals. Sewerage systems are notorious for overflowing, filtration systems become overwhelmed and pipes break. 

The flushed items end up in waterways, riverbeds and oceans. They make our beaches look rubbish. Small plastics and dissolved chemicals make their way up the food chain or harm the animals that have consumed them. 

These products have become part of our everyday lives so we need to pay more attention to where they end up. Be kind to the planet. Think before you flush. 

Are there any items you have been flushing away, believing it to be ok? Or do you know of any other items that commonly cause blockages? Please share below!