Severn Trent customers urged to bin ‘harmful’ wet wipes

Thursday 6 April 2023

  • Severn Trent is urging customers to “Bin the Wipe” in support of a new campaign by industry body Water UK.
  • It comes as following DEFRA proposals for a public consultation on the ban of wet wipes containing plastic.
  • Wet wipes are the single biggest cause of fatbergs that block sewage systems.
Severn Trent is urging customers to ’Bin The Wipe’ as part of a national campaign.
Water UK’s ‘Bin The Wipe’ campaign is calling on people to stop flushing wet wipes to help protect the environment and prevent homes and businesses from being flooded.

The campaign launched as Water UK research reveals that over a fifth (22%) of people in the UK admit to flushing wet wipes down the toilet.

Across the Midlands in the Severn Trent region, the company dealt with 30,000 blockages in just one year - a large amount caused by the wrong things being put down the sink and toilet such as wet wipes.

Severn Trent’s support for the campaign comes as DEFRA announced a commitment earlier this week to consult on a ban on the use of plastic in wet wipes.

Grant Mitchell, Severn Trent’s Blockages Lead, said: “We’re supportive of discussions around the banning of wet wipes containing plastic, as well as Water UK’s important ‘Bin The Wipe’ campaign as we know that flushing things like wipes can have a huge impact on our customers and the environment.

“This Easter Bank Holiday weekend will see many children get their hands mucky from their Easter eggs, with many parents using wet wipes to clean them up – please remember to put them in the bin, and not down the loo. The same message applies in the kitchen as well – after your roast dinner, don’t forget to scrape pots, pans and plates into the bin before washing up, and always leave leftover cooking oil to cool, before throwing it away to help prevent any blockages, that could lead to flooding.”

Peter Jenkins, Director of Campaigns at Water UK, said: “This research has revealed that an alarming number of people continue to flush wet wipes down their loo, even when they know the detrimental effect this can have on issues they care about, such as the environment.

“Our national Bin the Wipe campaign aims to encourage people to break the habit of flushing wet wipes down the toilet. By binning wet wipes instead, you can safeguard against blockages in pipes or even flooding in your home, while also helping to protect the environment.”