700 volunteers surveyed 500 sites across the Irish coastline for the 2018 Coastwatch Shore Survey which took place last month. Their consistent findings across the board were wet wipes contaminating beaches and ocean waters.
Where are these wipes coming from? In the past several years, Ireland has built many new sewage treatment plants in hopes to combat the increased amount of waste – but that’s only part of the issue. The reason wet wipes are ending up in oceans and across the coastline is because sewage treatment plants are being clogged with trash and wet wipes and the waste is being forced out to the coast.
In spite of more sewage treatment plants being built in Ireland in recent years, wet wipes are causing problems in sewerage, blocking pipes and increasingly ending up on coastlines, according to Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky.
In pipework they form long “ropes” clogging up systems, many of which ultimately end up in the coastal environment. “They appear like a piece of grey rope on the shores. People don’t realize what they are,” she added.
Read more about what the Coastwatch Shore Survey uncovered, here.