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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 14:55

Raising awareness of sanitary disposal and fatbergs with social campaign

Best known for its work excavating the famous London Whitechapel fatberg, drainage firm Lanes Group plc has teamed up with a charity to help to raise funds and spread awareness of the correct way to dispose of sanitary products, an issue that's creating a huge problem in the nation's sewer system and waterways.

The growing problem of fatbergs is being made worse by people flushing tampons and other sanitary products down the toilet, when they should all be placed in the bin.

The campaign has now hit its target and donated much-needed products to charity.

lanes sanitary products disposalcaptionThe "Be a Binner, Not a Sinner" social media campaign encouraged people to share a hard-hitting image that highlighted the importance of disposing of all sanitary items in a bin, rather than flushing them down the toilet.

For every share or retweet of the post, Lanes pledged to donate a FabLittleBag sanitary disposal pack to the Red Box Project charity, which provides sanitary products to local schools to combat period poverty. The post received more than 30,000 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and was liked and shared more than 600 times.

Lanes has now donated £500 worth of FabLittleBag packs to the Red Box Project charity, with plans to extend its support following the success of the collaboration. FabLittleBags are biodegradable disposal bags designed to prevent blockages and ocean pollution caused by flushing tampons and pads.


The donation follows a study by Lanes of more than 1,000 women, which found that 39% of respondents have flushed either a sanitary towel, panty liner or tampon down the toilet in their lifetime, amounting to as many as 20 million women in the UK.

These feminine hygiene products contain 'hidden plastic' that make them more durable, but also mean they do not biodegrade. As a result, they cause blockages in the sewer system and combine with fats, oils and grease, also incorrectly disposed of in our drains, to create fatbergs. Not only that, but they release harmful microplastics into the nation's waterways too.

Michelle Ringland, head of marketing at Lanes, says: "The scale of the problem around sanitary disposal is shocking and we have pledged to raise awareness of this in a number of ways, including working with local schools to educate youngsters.

"The current period poverty crisis our nation is facing is equally concerning, with a growing number of young girls and women unable to afford basic sanitary products every month. It felt like a perfect opportunity to combine these two crucial issues and help to raise awareness of both problems, while supporting a fantastic local charity."

Martha Silcott, CEO, Inventor of FabLittleBag, says: "Period poverty is a travesty which we need to eradicate as quickly as possible. It has been such a pleasure to work with Lanes, who are so proactive in addressing issues that affect the communities within which they work.

"Supporting the amazing volunteers at the Red Box Project is something that FabLittleBag feels passionately about and we hope to continue to raise awareness and provide positive solutions for eco-conscious and confident disposal of sanitary products to women and girls throughout the UK."

Stacy Sykes, volunteer coordinator at the Red Box Project, says: "I supply restocked boxes to five schools in my local area, so this very generous donation will benefit them greatly. A proportion will also be distributed to other Red Box Projects with the aim of further raising awareness of the importance of correctly disposing of sanitary products.

"We are a community-powered voluntary organisation quietly ensuring no young person misses school because they have their period. Our aim is to ensure that every young person in the UK has access to free, universally available menstrual products in their school. Whilst this service is not provided centrally by the UK government, we strive to fill the gap and donations like these help us to do so."