Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

10-03-2016: The battle of the sexes lost in a river!

*Warning - best not read when having any meal!
On Thursday volunteers entered the Hogsmill at Knights Park to do a litter clearance on the naturalised bank that was installed by volunteers in 2014.
The section of the river in the summer with students and staff enjoying the terrace
The area appeared to have a lot more litter then usual, the majority washed down from areas up stream.

The items of rubbish that were collected indicates a failure of one or more sewage systems up stream. items collected are normally things that are only able to get into a river via a sewage system (though they shouldn't be in the sewage system either).

Sometimes collectively termed as rag solids that can be in sewage should only include loo roll. But rag also provides evidence of other things that get flushed down the loo when they shouldn't. The sheer mindlessness/selfishness/idiocy (you decide) of people who decide to "Flush It rather than Bin It" as advised on all packaging for certain products was shocking to witness.

If the battle of the sexes was based on the evidence of the litter pick findings, which provides undeniable proof of the things that get flushed down the toilet, I'm ashamed to say that my half of the human race would loose given that of the 76 identifiable items collected, 72 were sanitary in nature (sanitary towels and panty liners) while 4 were indications of responsible contraception (if not responsible disposal!).
Panty liners found on the riverbank - yards from where students and staff enjoy the terrace during sunny days. 
In addition to the identifiable items, there were cloths such as face-wipes, materials possibly from cleaning products etc. These items including the items mentioned above are not designed to go down toilets and break up (regardless of what some cleaning companies claim!) and they contribute to the problem which can block up systems, potentially resulting in the output of raw sewage into our rivers.

In addition, these plastics , once in the river, can affect the very species that we like spotting such as kingfishers.

On the day, every woman whom I mentioned these clean up results too were completely disgusted. They all seemed to know that these types of items shouldn't be flushed down the toilet, and couldn't understand the mentality of those that do.

Lets help rebalance the battle of the sexes and literally start cleaning up our act.

Bin it - Don't flush it. 

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