You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.Jane Goodall
Let’s be real. There are a lot of problems in the world. Moreover, we have a lot of problems in our everyday lives, so much so that we don’t want or need to be thinking about what happens after we’ve flushed the toilet. Most of us would be happy spending the rest of our days not knowing what our sewers actually look like. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in today. One of our country’s problems has swelled so much that it demands our attention. Eco-warriers can’t exactly pluck at our heartstrings with pictures of sea turtles stuck in plastic bags for this one either. Instead it’s a problem so disgusting that even we, firm believers that things need to be tackled head on in order to find a solution, have found myself clicking off pages during research because it’s just too disgusting. It’s definitely not something that we want shoved into our faces when we’re drinking our coffees and reading our papers in the morning. Unfortunately, the problem needs to be addressed and we all need to face some hard, and disgusting, truths about the way that we live our lives. And so, let’s start off by facing the problem head on…
A disgusting conglomeration of wet wipes, fat, oils and grease + a disturbing number of drugs that gets stuck in our drains creating health risks, causing blockages and floodings and costing the council and taxpayers millions of pounds every month. These fatbergs are created by the ‘unflushable’ items that you put down your drains and toilets. It doesn’t matter that some wet wipes say they can be flushed – they congeal together with the oils, grease and fat and become large enough to clog the sewers (as you can see in the lovely picture above), and this phenomenon can send unmentionables flooding into our homes, public spaces and gushing down our streets.
The discovery of an ‘Monster fatberg’ 130-tonne fatberg under Whitechapel in London was just the start as more and more of these monstrous mounds were found in our sewer systems every day. We, as humans, have a habit of not taking responsibility for our actions. But fatbergs are a direct consequence of outdated Victorian plumbing that can’t keep up with the onslaught of modern luxuries that keep being flushed down our drains. The sewer systems in urban areas such as London are so large and complex that the work on clogs because of the things that we pour down our drains never stops. An article in the Guardian last year estimated that this work costs £1 million a month, which does not include the personal cost and collateral damage of sewage flooding homes and public streets. It’s clear to see that this is an outrageous amount of money that could, and should, be spent on something else if we didn’t keep wrecking our sewer systems. And it’s not just our urban cities anymore, coastal areas such as Devon are being effected as well. So it should be a problem for everyone.
Not only do these ‘unflushables’ harm our sewers and homes and cost a lot of money to fix. But they also have a disastrous effect on our seas and coasts. It was reported that wet wipes make up to 93% of matter that causes sewer blockages in the UK. These wet wipes are made up of microfibres, which means that they don’t disintegrate like toilet paper. So once you flush them down the drain, if they don’t get trapped in a fatberg in the sewer, they get washed out to sea and stick around for a very long time. This damages ecosystems, marine life and our coastal beauty. It was recently reported that every seal, dolphin and whale that has been washed up on British shores has been found with microplastics in their stomachs. And these microplastics have been linked back to clothes, fishing nets and wet wipes that have been washed into the sea and have become a part of the food chain for all marine life.
There are ways to avoid these problems. The best and most obvious one is, you’ve guessed it, not to flush ‘unflushable’ items down the drain. #dontflushthis and #dontfeedthefatberg are just some of the ways that we, at FreshX, are trying to raise awareness to the problems through our social media channels (which you can find below). But it’s not enough. People will, understandably, continue to do what is best and easiest for them. Our solution, therefore, was to look for a way to make things easier for our shoppers while helping them to save the environment. And that how we came up with our FreshX Tissue Spritz. Just 2 spritz can transform a rough tissue into a cleansing, soothing and moistening wipe that works just as well, if not better, than your regular wet wipe. Not only that but you can safely flush it down the drain without wrecking your sewer or your conscious because it’s just tissue paper after all. As you can seen in our social media feeds, a lot of our time as a company is spent trying to eradicate fatbergs and to mitigate the environmental costs that items such as wet wipes can cause in our drains, our beaches and our seas. It’s a #humblebrag, but FreshX is the solution to the fatberg problem. Inside one of our recyclable bottles is 200 flushable wipes.
If fatbergs haven’t affected you directly then it can be hard to find a reason to care or to change. But this environmental problem has consequences for us all, even if you can’t always see them. Our planet has been damaged so much by our habits and luxuries and it can be hard to change those habits and to give up those luxuries for a chance that we don’t even know will actually help anyone or anything. But if there was a way for you to keep those luxuries and to help the planet at the same time – why wouldn’t you take it?
FreshX’s advice of the week:
Don’t feed the fatberg – Switch to Spritz
Next weeks topic: a run down on our product FreshX Toilet Spritz including the down-low on our ingredients.
Visit www.freshx.co.uk to find out more about our eco-friendly product FreshX Tissue Spritz; the greener, healthier alternative to wet wipes.