Wallace, the wet wipe monster, heads to Newquay to highlight why 'flushing' is bad for bathing

National marine charity teams up with South West Water to launch ‘Love Your Loo’ campaign

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is bringing its monster made of wet wipes to Towan Beach, Newquay, for a joint event with South West Water to show the public why your bathroom habits can be bad for the beach. Both organisations have been running campaigns to highlight that flushing anything but the 3Ps - pee, poo and paper - down the loo can lead to blocked drains resulting in pollution on beaches and in the sea.

MCS will be bringing its giant inflatable Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster to Towan beach on Thursday 10th August between 10am and 4pm.

Wallace will help the charity explain to the public the financial and environmental cost of putting the wrong stuff down the loo!

The bespoke art installation, made out of wet wipes, inflates from a very small pile of wipes on the sand to a 8m wide x 3.5m tall monster who will disappear back into the shore at regular intervals during the day.

MCS say that the number of wet wipes found on UK beaches have increased by almost 700% over the last decade. Wet wipes are commonly used in the bathroom to remove makeup, clean up babies’ bottoms and wipe toilet seats and once used are then often, mistakenly, popped down the pan and flushed. South West Water’s award-winning ‘Love Your Loo’ campaign is helping to reduce blockages and sewer floodings. This year the campaign is being launched in more towns in Devon and Cornwall, including Newquay.

It costs South West Water, and its customers, £4.5million each year to clear around 8,500 blockages on the sewerage network.

About 65% of these blockages are caused by baby wipes, hygiene wipes, moist toilet tissue, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.

This type of pollution can affect the bathing water quality at beaches like Towan.

MCS Water Pollution Manager, Rachel Wyatt, says last summer, people in the South West loved coming to see ‘Wallace’: “He really helped to highlight the damage associated with flushing wet wipes. We’ve been campaigning for retailers to stop misleading the public by labelling wet wipes as flushable, because they’re known to be failing the water industry standard for what can be flushed safely down the toilet. So far no wet wipes have passed this ‘flushability’ test and that’s why we will be asking everyone to remember that all wet wipes belong in the bin.”

South West Water’s Head of Community Relations, Alan Hyde, says: “We are working with the rest of the water industry to encourage manufacturers and retailers to label their products responsibly. In the meantime, our customers have asked us to tell them what can and can’t be flushed - so that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. “We’ll be encouraging everybody only to flush the 3Ps ” - pee paper and poo ” - and to bag and bin soiled wipes and sanitary products. Cleaning wipes and cleansing pads can go straight in the bin.”” Over the summer dedicated Love Your Loo advisers will be talking to customers and spreading the 3Ps message in Newquay.

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