Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) campaigners and local volunteers will be undertaking their annual beach clean at Porthtowan this Saturday the 15th September from 10:30am to 2:30pm as part of the annual Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Beach Watch survey.
PHOTOCALL: At 11am this Saturday on Porthtowan beach, SAS campaigners will unveil a toilet filled with sanitary products including tampon applicators, sanitary towels and even syringes found on Porthtowan to highlight the link between flushing these products down the toilet and finding these products on our beaches.
SAS campaigners will also have a giant “Think Before You Flush” placard and will be giving out free “Think Before You Flush” stickers reminding the public that these products shouldn’t go down the toilet. The Think Before You Flush campaign message is targeted specifically at sewage related debris (SRD), which is all too commonly flushed down the toilet indiscriminately, ending up on the beach.
Already during this bathing season Porthtowan has suffered from blockages in the sewerage system that has resulted in untreated sewage and SRD spilling out onto the beach and into the river, despite Porthtowan having state of the art sewerage treatment.
Often this can be caused because of what we are putting down our toilets and drains. SRD can cause blockages in the sewerage system because we are not meant to use the toilet as a wet bin. We must all think before we flush, and bin the non-biodegradable waste.
As the majority of the SRD that we flush down the toilet is plastic it will takes hundreds of years to break down. In last year’s MCS Beach Watch Report, SRD increased nationally and in the south west region, with cotton bud sticks in particular now being the second most common item found on beaches around the UK.
Andy Cummins, SAS Campaign Officer says: “The beach clean is a great event that everyone can get involved with and do something positive for our beaches there and then. It’s a fun event with a serious message. Millions of sanitary products are ending up on our beach each year and we need to educate people that the toilet isn’t a wet bin. We all need to think before we flush! Everyone is welcome to join us at Porthtowan, we have all the gear, refreshments and even a few prizes to give out.”