Keeping The South West Picture Perfect
South West Water, the Environment Agency and Teignbridge District Council are launching a campaign today to lift the lid on the problems caused by flushing things down the toilet that don't belong there.
The worst offending items, nicknamed the 'Dirty Dozen', can cause blockages in pipes, sewer flooding and pollution. The advice is to bag it and bin it - don't flush it.
Dr Stephen Bird, Operations Director, South West Water, said: "Over 26 million people visit the South West each year, boosting the region's economy by around £8 billion. One of the main reasons our region remains a popular tourist destination is the quality of the beaches and coastline.
Last year all the designated bathing waters in the South West met with European standards. One of the ways people can contribute towards maintaining this achievement is to manage their rubbish responsibly and to bag it and bin it, not flush it away."
Martin Weiler, Devon and Cornwall Manager, Environment Agency, said: "The environment is everyone's responsibility. People need to be aware the toilet is not an extension of the household disposal system. By managing waste more responsibly you will help protect our region's beaches and environment for everyone to enjoy."
Phil Shears, Deputy Chief Executive of Teignbridge Council said: "We are committed to caring for the environment, and would emphasise that small changes made by many individuals can have big impact on the environment. Local pollution incidents are treated very seriously, and public health and safety is always a priority. If we are informed of a water quality failure, our first course of action is to sign the appropriate local beaches, informing visitors of the incident and providing them with a choice about whether to bathe or not.
Campaigns which encourage individual responsibility first can prevent such incidents occurring, and avoid the negative knock-on effects for local businesses, visitors and residents. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership throughout the duration of the campaign in the knowledge that every small change in behaviour is a big win for the environment."
If it is successful in changing peoples' behaviour and then reducing the amount of blockages, sewer flooding and pollution in Dawlish, the campaign will be rolled out across the rest of the South West region.
To launch the campaign, sand sculptor Mark Anderson constructed a six foot toilet out of sand in Dawlish Warren. The sculpture was there from Thursday 5th April and over the Easter weekend.
Notes for editors
The Dirty Dozen
1. Sanitary towels, panty liners and backing strips
2. Tampons and tampon applicators
3. Condoms and femidoms
4. Disposable nappies
5. Facial cleansing, baby and cleaning wipes
6. Bandages and plasters
7. Razor blades
8. Cotton buds
9. Syringes and needles
10. Incontinence pads
11. Plastic bags and wrappers
12. Disposable mop heads
|•||Over the summer season local holiday parks and later hoteliers, bars and cafes in Dawlish will be sent information packs including posters, stickers and leaflets to give to visiting tourists. If you would like to order any of these materials for your business call 01392 443 020. |
|•||South West Water has invested £1.5 billion in sewage treatment through its Clean Sweep programme, which has been improving bathing water quality over the last 16 years|
Published: 5 April 2007
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