Guernsey Water is hoping to discourage islanders from flushing wipes by promoting the use of reusable alternatives in partnership with the Maternity Ward.
The initiative forms part of the utility’s wastewater campaign, aiming to improve understanding of the Island’s wastewater network together with the issues and damage that can be caused as a result of the incorrect flushing of wipes and other non-biodegradable material.
Margaret McGuinness, Guernsey Water’s Water Quality Manager, said: “We remove approximately 1.6 tonnes of non-biodegradable material from our Belle Greve wastewater centre every week, the majority of which is made up of wipes.
"It is far from an ideal situation before even considering the potential blockages, subsequent sewage back up and pollution that can come as a result of wipe build ups within the sewer network itself.
We frequently remind islanders to flush only the three Ps, this initiative will offer alternatives to the community, instead of just reminding them what not to do. Encouraging a switch which benefits the sewer network and the environment.”
The utility has partnered with the Maternity Service to give away 1,000 reusable wipes to expectant parents at the Service’s Great Expectations antenatal classes.
Hazel Seymour, Maternity and Paediatrics Operations Manager said: “We believe this scheme represents a number of positives for both the environment and new families. The Maternity Service actively encourages the use of water over wipes for newborn babies.
"Switching to reusable wipes used with water only is a fantastic way of continuing this care moving forward, gentler to babies skin and great for the environment.”
The utility advised that the non-biodegradable material removed from Belle Greve wastewater centre is currently sent direct to landfill. Representing another reason to switch to reusables and ensure any single use wipes are disposed of in household waste, which is instead exported for conversion into energy.
Tina Norman-Ross, Guernsey Waste Recycling Officer, said: “Reusable wipes are so simple to use, just wet them as required and pop them in with your washing once finished.
"Anyone who has had experience with young children and babies will know just how many wipes can be used on a day to day basis, reusables have not only environmental benefit, but also the potential to save you money too.”