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Water UK urges public to ‘Bin the Wipe’ in new campaign from Radley Yeldar

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the issues that flushing wet wipes can cause, as new research shows that over a fifth admit to doing it.

two red posters 'Bin the wipes' & one white 'wipes block pipes' sit next to each other on a grey wall under three white lights

Bin the Wipe’ launches this week across the UK, to stop people from flushing wet wipes down the toilet – one of the nation's biggest issues when it comes to blocked drains and damaged sewers. The campaign launches as new research reveals that over a fifth (22%) of people admit to flushing wet wipes down the toilet.*


75% of drain blockages in the UK are caused by wet wipes, and they are a leading cause of the ‘fatbergs’ that choke our drains and sewers. Water UK has worked with Radley Yeldar to address the problem with a national campaign.


Grounded in behavioural science, the campaign’s creative uses an unexpected, urgent red-and-black palette. A ‘journey of the wipe’ animation brings the story home – literally – with a vivid illustration of the impact of a block on homes and sewers.


There are approximately 300,000 sewer blockages a year, costing the country £100 million.  Thousands of properties suffer sewer flooding caused by these blockages every year in the UK, creating misery for homeowners and businesses, and leading to high clean-up bills and increased insurance costs.


Of those who admitted to flushing wet wipes, an overwhelming majority said that protecting the environment was an important issue to them (89%), along with protecting animals (91%), pollution of rivers and seas (87%).  Seven in ten people (71%) still use wet wipes today, despite 83% of people saying that using sustainable products was important to them.


Peter Jenkins, Director of Campaigns at Water UK, said:

“Today’s research has revealed that an alarming number of people continue to flush wet wipes down their loo, even when they know the detrimental effect this can have on issues they care about, such as the environment.


“Our national Bin the Wipe campaign aims to encourage people to break the habit of flushing wet wipes down the toilet. By binning wet wipes instead, you can safeguard against blockages in pipes or even flooding in your home, while also helping to protect the environment.”


Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive of Northumbrian Water, said:

“Bin the Wipe is a really important message and asks for such a really simple change to people’s habits. It’s so easy to do and makes a massive difference.


“Since we started asking our customers across the North East to Bin the Wipe at the start of 2020, we have seen blockages reduced by 52% and a 64% decrease in home flooding incidents in the areas where we have taken our campaign.


“We are really excited about the prospect of people across the country getting the message and benefiting from the impact it can have for people’s homes and the environment.”


The campaign launches across digital and social. RY has also created a campaign toolkit for Water companies to get on board with, all of which are housed on a dedicated BTW microsite


Find out more in our case study here.



*Savanta surveyed 2,320 UK adults online between 27-29th January. Data weighted to be nationally representative of all UK adults by age, gender region and social grade.