75% of drain blockages in the UK are caused by wet wipes
Flushed wet wipes are a massive issue in the UK – a leading cause of the ‘fatbergs’ that choke our drains, sewers, and rivers. This costs £100 million every year to our shared system. And 90% contain some sort of plastic – not something we want in our waterways. Local water companies have deployed a spectrum of campaigns to address the issue, but this problem is national, and it called for a national approach. Water UK approached RY for a solution.
Using behavioural science to create change
We tested local campaigns with surveys guided by behavioural science. Northumbrian Water’s Bin the Wipe campaign (which RY developed in 2020) floated to the top. It was clear, bold, and single-minded – all critical elements to shift specific behaviours. To adapt it for a national context, we rendered the creative in an unexpected, urgent red-and-black palette. A ‘journey of the wipe’ animation brought the story home – literally – with a vivid illustration of the impact of a block on homes, rivers, and sewers. And a campaign toolkit for Water companies to get on board with, are all housed on a dedicated BTW microsite www.binthewipe.org
A flood of positive impact on social
The first burst of the campaign, launched in February 2023, has massively
outperformed targets, exceeding expectations for a broad-based awareness campaign. Across all social channels, we achieved more than 41 million impressions and reached 17 million citizens. The ‘journey of the wipe’ video was viewed more than 2 million times. And link clicks beat targets by 80% on Meta, and 620% (!) on Twitter – unheard of performance for an awareness campaign, and testament to the bold simplicity of the approach.
The film was a finalist both at the New York Festivals and Evcom London Live and Film Awards, and won Silver at the Evcom Clarion Awards in the Film Innovation catefory