Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
But while these wipes are often labeled “flushable” by manufacturers, they are anything but and are clogging municipal sewer systems around the country. When too many wipes are flushed down the toilet, they can build up in sewers along with cooking fat poured down the drain, creating blockages called “fatbergs.” These fatbergs have been cropping up with increasing regularity across the U.S., causing headaches for municipalwater management agencies.
They can also be dangerous. In 2017, a fatberg in Baltimore resulted in a sewage overflow. These overflows can cause toxic human and industrial waste to spill into bodies of water nearby, contaminating drinking water and degrading aquatic ecosystems. What’s more, is that this waste problem is avoidable, better education and information for consumers as well as ensuring that manufacturers bear responsibility for their products could help prevent fatbergs.
A Messy Situation:
This issue didn’t start with the pandemic — Americans had already been flushing too many wipes into the sewers. But the problem has intensified since stay-at-home orders have been put in place across the country.
In Des Moines, IO, sewer backups are up 50%, and the city spent over $100,000 over the past year clearing them.
Water resource management experts hope that the issue will improve as people go back to work. In the meantime, cities like New York and Seattle have been calling on residents to “Trash it. Don’t flush it.”
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Those three arrows in a triangle are an easy shorthand for recyclables, but there’s one problem: just because the symbol is printed on a product, doesn’t necessarily mean the item is recyclable. It simply informs consumers of the type of plastic used based on the number within the arrows. […]
“Recycling just got saucy.” Taco Bell has announced that it’s teaming up with recycling firm TerraCycle to keep its iconic sauce packets out of landfills. The company says that more than 8 billion of their spicy sauce packets end up in landfills each year, but with this new partnership, those friendly packets can become something […]
Sky Sports, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the Premier League, and COP26 have teamed up to put on the world’s first major net-zero football game (or Soccer game as it’s called in the US). #GameZero, featuring Tottenham vs. Chelsea, will be a showcase of how fans, teams, and broadcasters can move toward a net-zero future. The […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.