Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Don't Believe The Hype For Wet Wipes

I love using wet wipes - they are so useful to remove make up, mop up spills, freshen up and even cleaning leather. I buy flushable wipes often especially when I go on holiday as you never know what the toilets are going to be like in remote places. That's the responsible thing to do, isn't it?  I was therefore surprised to find that flushable wipes aren't as environmentally friendly as I first thought.

Copyright: MilanMarkovic78 Shutterstock

United Utilities are heading a campaign to raise awareness of this fact. In a recent survey of 1000 people over a quarter admitted to flushing wet wipes down the loo. This is causing a huge problem. Even if wipes say they are flushable, they don't break down like toilet paper does. Instead they get stuck and mixed with the oil, fats and waste that goes down the pipes cause significant blockages. Water companies then have to deal with the problem to the tune of millions of pounds a year. This cost has to be passed onto the consumer as well in increased water rates. This is without the call out fee which can be a minimum of £100 as well on top of any work that has to be done. 

Water companies are also not responsible for fixing blockages on domestic properties and insurance companies won't pay out if its not caused by one of the three P's - Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper.

Some easy ways to avoid this.

1. Remember the three P's - only three things should be flushed Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper.

2. Use tissues to remove your makeup.

3. Keep a bin in the toilet so wipes can be disposed of properly if you have to use them.

4. Consider using toilet roll and / or cloth wipes to wipe a baby's bottom.

These wipes get washed up on the beaches too, adding to the rubbish found on our beaches. Information from the Marine Conservation Soceity tells us that there has been a 50% increase in the amount of wet wipes washed up on the beach. Recently I took some photos of the town beach at the end of my road and you can see below that there are a couple of wet wipes washed up with other rubbish.

So if this post has made you think or you want to find out more check out the Think Before You Flush campaign by United Utilities. There is a free downloadable pack specifically for parents which included activities and posters to help raise awareness of this issue. 

Also included in the downloadable pack above is details of a cool competition with 30 prizes available.

#3PPromise Photo Competition 

There are 30 prizes of £25 Boots vouchers are up for grab. Take a look at the Parent Pack and you’ll see what the 3P Promise is all about. All you have to do to enter is tweet a picture of yourself with and maybe your children making the 3PPromise. Be creative, make your photo fun. Use the hashtag #3PPromise and include @unitedutilities in the tweet, and your pic will be automatically entered in the draw. You can also enter on Facebook too.  For competition terms and conditions visit



  1. This is all really interesting to know - I use wipes when I'm feeling lazy but never flush 'em, so good to know I'm not contributing to this as much!

    Milly | Mini Adventures

  2. I never flush my makeup wipes! My bin is full of them though which shows how lazy I am when it comes to taking my makeup off haha xx

    Jess -

  3. The three Ps bit made me chuckle but that's a great way to remember! x

    1. Yes it's funny but it's a good way of remembering.

  4. Like Milly above, I'm glad my habit (binning rather than flushing) is the *right* thing to do!

  5. I'm always so aware of what we 'flush', I even worry about too much loo roll! Great post, people need to really see what is happening underground and to our oceans :) x

  6. I couldn't imagine flushing them away, I am always one for the bin haha x

  7. I had trouble before with the drains where I used to live as a results of wet wipes. Why market them as flushable when they don't disintegrate, but just get clogged up?! Fab post x

    1. It's surprising how people people are saying this.


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