25 Sept 2022

Think Before You Flush campaign wants Donegal schoolchildren for public awareness campaign

Environmental workshops offered to schools in Buncrana

Think Before You Flush campaign wants Donegal schoolchildren   for public awareness campaign

The Think Before You Flush campaign urges people to never flush damaging items such as wet wipes or cotton buds down the toilet

Teachers, are you looking for an environmental workshop for the classroom this year? The Think Before You Flush campaign has you covered.

To mark the new school year, the campaign is offering free environmental workshops for classrooms throughout Buncrana. Think Before You Flush is a public awareness campaign operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water.

Think Before You Flush addresses the issue of flushing unsuitable items down the toilet and highlights the consequences of doing so, such as blockages in our wastewater network and treatment plants, surface water overflows and sewage related litter on our beaches and in our oceans, damaging our marine environment.

Many toiletries, such as wet wipes, cotton pads and dental floss, are part of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, which are the top 12 items that are incorrectly flushed down the toilet in Ireland.

Other items include hair; paper towels; medicine; tampons; food items; contact lenses; condoms; cigarette butts; and cotton bud sticks.

There is no denying these items are incredibly useful. Many people love the convenience of disposable wet wipes, facial pads and dental floss but are unaware of the problems associated with these items when inappropriately flushed down the toilet.

Research has found that one in four adults (24%) regularly admit to flushing items down the toilet that are known to cause blockages, causing detrimental effects on the wastewater network and the marine environment. Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to disintegrate quickly in our pipes and sewage systems, other items don’t break down easily.

The Think Before You Flush campaign is rolling out an education and awareness campaign in Buncrana to highlight the need for locals and visitors to maintain proper flushing and pouring behaviour in the area.

Nationally in 2021, Irish Water responded to approximately 10,000 customers notified blockages (approximately 200 every week) and removed 162 tonnes of wipes and other items from the screens at wastewater treatment plants every month – that’s close to 2,000 tonnes/year.

The schools of Buncrana represent the future of the area’s flushing and pouring behaviour. Through discussions about the environment and the importance of our wastewater management systems, the Think Before You Flush campaign hopes to inspire the next generation to care for our natural environment through good flushing and pouring practices.

If you would like to enquire about booking a workshop for your class or learn more about the campaign, head over to or send your request to

You can also request information posters for your schools, business, or community.

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