Breaking the taboo on things down the loo

Image of FabLittleBag

The truths about tampons in a bid to cut sewer blockages, flooding and pollution. 

In a survey of women we recently carried out in the UK, nearly half (41%) said they flushed tampons down the loo and didn’t know they shouldn’t. The same number of women said they didn’t know this was damaging the environment. 

That's why Anglian Water has paired up with female entrepreneur Martha Silcott and her new invention to tell women the truths about tampons in a bid to cut sewer blockages, flooding and pollution. You can find out more in our Press Release and read more about Martha on her 'Fab Little Bag' website.

Anglian Water attends more than 30,000 sewer blockages every year – the vast majority of which are avoidable and caused by wipes, sanitary items and fats and greases from cooking. It spends around £15million every year to remove blockages from the sewers. 

The reality is that most women don’t know they shouldn’t flush tampons, and the same is true of wipes - and it’s no wonder. The packaging on these products is confusing and that’s why we are calling on manufacturers to make this clearer.

Raising awareness of the issue during the survey, thankfully, 95 per cent of the women we spoke to said they cared about the environment and are willing to do their bit.

More than 340 Mumsnetters were surveyed and given the chance to trial FabLittleBag, a hygienic, easy-to-use disposal bag that biodegrades. The test results showed nearly three quarters (71%) of women said that the trial had made them realise flushing tampons and other sanitary items leads to sewer blockages and pollution, and 77% said they would bin tampons rather than flush in future.


I know how messy and tricky tampons can be to dispose of hygienically, however I also see first-hand the damage caused by these items being flushed and the distress it causes people when sewage has backed up into their garden or home. It can all be avoided if everyone binned their tampons, sanitary waste, wipes and other bathroom waste. 

Sharon JonesOne of Anglian Water’s army of sewage operatives


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