Sewage scandal: UK beach strewn with ‘hundreds’ of condoms, sanitary pads and tampons - and ‘it keeps coming’
A woman has described how she picks up “hundreds” of sewage debris when she walks across her local beach in North Shields
A woman has described how she picks up “hundreds” of sewage debris including condoms, sanitary pads and tampons when she walks across her local beach. She posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, detailing how her local beach in Newcastle was “strewn” with the debris, slamming it as “disgusting”.
She posted on X on Sunday 29 October: “It’s disgusting walking at North Shields beach strewn with used condoms, sanitary pads tampons , and tampon applicators! I pick up hundreds but they keep coming!”.
The post includes a picture of a board where the woman has stuck what she has found on the beach which is located next to Tynemouth’s lifeboat station. The board has one syringe, five cotton buds, eight tampon applicators, five tampons, ten sanitary pads, and two condoms. On the same day the woman posted: “The high tides today have brought an enormous amount more in, we cleared what we could four sacks full, but it keeps coming!”
One user replied saying: “This stuff should be going in the bin not down the loo. Please people stop flushing anything other than pee poo and toilet paper. It causes blockages that damage infrastructure and contributes to sewage spills.”
On 1 November, the woman posted another picture to X showing what she had collected once again off the beach. She said: “I popped down the beach to help with the general clean up from the high tides . I collected the sewage debris separately! 60 plus tampon applicators, four condoms, two syringes, two sanitary pads.” The woman added that it “really is dreadful”. She told NationalWorld that sewage debris on beaches is a “massive problem” and occurs “almost daily.”
It comes as Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has issued a swathe of alerts over recent days warning the public not to swim at over 100 beaches across the UK due to sewage discharges. On Wednesday 1 November the group advised the public not to swim at 131 beaches due to waste being discharged from a sewer overflow. Following sewage alerts, a SAS spokesperson told NationalWorld that the “blatant disregard for public health and our blue spaces is appalling.” The spokesperson added: “Water companies spill sewage come rain or shine, all the while syphoning off tens of billions to shareholders and paying the fat cats at the top huge pay and bonuses.”
Northumbrian Water said that “over the last couple of weeks” it has “seen periods of heavy rainfall meaning at times our network was working at capacity to protect customers’ homes, businesses and the region’s infrastructure flooding.” The firm added: “The overflows which, when under pressure, release rain, surface and heavily diluted wastewater do have screens fitted which catch the majority of the unflushables that we unfortunately see in our system. It is possible that some sanitary products could have escaped the system during these extreme rainfall events, and our teams are regularly out and about to clean up these products from our beaches, restoring them to their good or excellent standard. This is also why we ask our customers to please bin wipes, sanitary products and other plastics, because only paper, pee and poo should go down the loo.”