473 Bin Bags of Wet Wipes Removed From Thames Shoreline

By Gary Cutlack on at

Some Londoners who own wellies had a fun day out on the Thames in March, where they spent an enjoyable day mudlarking for... wet wipes and sanitary products. The Romans left pipes and pots. We're leaving a reef of plastic fibres because we think the toilet is a bin.

Separate researchers scanned the riverbed as they detoxified the banks and found evidence that a new reef is forming in the river near Hammersmith, where they say the riverbed data shows a modern Anthropocene reef that's 50m wide and 17m long has formed under the water. And it's made entirely of torn up plastic fibres that have flooded into the river when sewerage systems can't handle the flow.

The new Tideway sewerage tunnel that's being built beneath the river may help stop this man made reef growing, with Tideway's John Sage saying: "We undertake bathymetric surveys of the River Thames every year that have shown a near 0.7m increase in the size of the wet wipe mound at Hammersmith over the past four years. This is simply unacceptable in a global city like London. Tideway's new super sewer will help to clean up the River Thames from sewage pollution but we all have a part to play in protecting the River Thames, including putting wet wipes in the bin instead of flushing." [Thames21 via Business Green]