Can’t Flush This

June 29, 2016

Featured, Multimedia

MC Plumber raps in the “Can’t Flush This” music video to educate about items that can clog toilets. Photo courtesy of United Utilities (Warrington, England).

MC Plumber raps in the “Can’t Flush This” music video to educate about items that can clog toilets. Photo courtesy of United Utilities (Warrington, England).

United Utilities (Warrington, England) produced a music video called “Can’t Flush This.” The parody of M.C. Hammer’s 1990 hit “Can’t Touch This,” communicates the negative consequences of flushing items not intended to go down the toilet.

In the video, “MC Plumber” and his two assistants rap in a bathroom and breakdance outside while conveying the message that baby wipes, sanitary products, and cotton buds should be discarded in bins and not flushed. To emphasize this point, the video even shows a plugged, overflowing toilet.

The video, a parody of M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” conveys how flushing wipes, sanitary products, and cotton buds should be discarded in trash and not flushed. Photo courtesy of United Utilities. The video is part of a campaign to educate residents about the wastewater sytem blockages caused by flushing nondispersable items. Photo courtesy of United Utilities.
The video, a parody of M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” is part of a campaign educating residents about wastewater system blockages caused by flushing nondispersable items. Photos courtesy of United Utilities.

Prior to creating its video, United Utilities conducted research on consumer perceptions related to misleading labeling of products that cause blockages and found that 82% of those surveyed thought it safe to flush items labeled as “flushable.” Wipes and other nondispersable items contribute to 53,000 blockage call-outs handled by the utility each year at a cost of £20 million, according to a United Utilities news release. With some nondispersable wipes being marketed as safe to flush, the utility determined that more needed to be done to raise awareness about the problem.

Video courtesy of United Utilities

— Jeff Gunderson, WEF Highlights

WEF Highlights Showcases Flushables Outreach Efforts

As the nondispersibles issue continues to grow, utilities are turning to humor to educate the public. In the footsteps of the Singing Sewermen from Thames Water (London), utilities are creating unique and humorous public service announcements (PSAs) and campaigns to educate the public about what can and cannot go down the drain or toilet.

Use keyword FlushablePSA to find all WEF Highlights articles on these efforts. Do you have a unique flushable PSA to share? Send it to Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights editor, at jfulcher@wef.org.

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