Scottish Water campaign asks public to consign wipes to the bin

The Scottish public is being asked to bin all wipes – and ban wipes containing plastic - in a major new campaign to help protect the environment.

Mark Dowie
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 7:00am
Scottish Water campaign asks public to consign wipes to the bin

Scottish Water is seeking supprot to avoid sewer blockages, flooding, and pollution by consigning wipes to the bin.

And it is also calling on governments north and south of the border to work together to ban wipes made with plastic.

The new nationwide campaign – Nature Calls – is backed by a range of other organisations, including the Marine Conservation Society, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland.

Douglas Millican, Scottish Water chief executive, said: “Our message to our customers is clear – please bin the wipes and help us protect the environment.

“And to policymakers we say now is the time to ban all wipes containing plastic and rid our sewers, rivers and beaches of this needless problem.

"Last year, more than 10,000 tonnes of material – the equivalent of 80 blue whales - was removed from Scotland’s waste water plants.

“Many thousands of tonnes more ended up blocking sewers, causing flooding, or being flushed into rivers during storms and heavy rain. Research by the Marine Conservation Society shows that wipes are now the most common cause of beach pollution.

“Wipes are an understandable convenience item - but many contain plastic, that causes serious problems when disposed of inappropriately by flushing down the toilet - blocked sewers, homes flooded with sewage, and pollution on our beaches and rivers.

“Every year our teams deal with around 36,000 blockages at a cost to customers of £7 million annually and around 80 per cent of the blockages we attend feature wipes.”

The campaign will feature adverts on multiple channels through February and March. More information is available at

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan added: “The actions we take at home can help protect Scotland’s world-renowned rivers, lochs, wetlands and seas. We support the calls to ban wet wipes containing plastic and encourage other administrations to work with us to bring forward bans on unnecessary and environmentally harmful products.”

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