Wet wipes are causing blockages in London sewers after being flushed down the toilet
Sign up for the latest news on climate change and how you can help
Wet wipes flushed down the toilet have been deemed as the cause of a mass blockage in the London sewage system - with the mountain expanding constantly. The situation has become so severe that the the wet wipes have formed a metre-high mass the size of two tennis courts on the banks of the River Thames near Hammersmith
The problem has become such a cause for concern that the government is said to be considering enforcing a ban on certain types of wet wipes. Environmental Minister Rebecca Pow recently addressed the House of Commons about the situation. She said: "What I would say to everybody is if you don't need to use a wet wipe, don't, but also don't chuck them down the loo”.
READ MORE: The seaside towns near London that are likely to be underwater by 2050
However, Labour MP Fleur Anderson took the issue one step further and put proposed that legislation should be out in place to ban plastic wet wipes. Ms Anderson has now tabled legislation to ban plastic wet wipes.
The MP described the current packaging situation as “very confusing for the public” and advised the government to “move ahead” with its proposed ban on plastic in wet wipes, following a consultation which ended in February.
Similarly, Thames Water released a statement commenting on the situation last year. Anna Boyles, Thames Water’s operations manager, said: “We know many busy families love the convenience of wet wipes, but most are made from plastic and can take centuries to biodegrade. It’s like flushing a plastic bag down the loo.
“Some wipes are marketed as ‘flushable’. All that means is that they will disappear down the u-bend, but they’re not gone for good and could end up clogging your pipes or in the river. We’re working to influence manufacturers to properly label their products and, even better, to remove the plastic from the wipes altogether. If you’re using standard wet wipes, please pop them in the bin instead of the toilet.
“We’re also working with the government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate work to stop these unacceptable discharges of untreated sewage and sewage litter from happening in the first place."
Want more news? Sign up for MyLondon's FREE newsletters here.
Got a story you think we should be covering? Email email@example.com.
One of the last beavers left in London that nearly became extinct dies
National warning polio is spreading after virus found in sewage in North and East London