SURFERS GET ON THEIR SOAPBOX OVER HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS!
At 10:00am on Wednesday 28th September 2005, High Cross (in front of Truro Cathedral), wetsuited campaigners from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) will stand on a giant soapbox (a 9ft x 6ft x 3ft FIZZ ‘WHITER THAN WHITE ISN’T GREEN’ washing powder box) campaigning for an end to the use of harmful chemicals in everyday household cleaning products because of the damaging impact they are having on the water environment.
The ‘green’ surfers will be explaining to consumers how they can help reduce their impact on polluting the water environment with a leafleting campaign which incorporates a special offer for a free 500ml Ecover washing up liquid product from the Co-operative Group’s Truro supermarket in nearby Boscawen Street. SAS have teamed up with the Co-operative Group, as they were the first retailer to ban a range of toxic chemicals still permitted for use in everyday household products.
72,000 synthetic chemicals have been introduced into the environment since the 1950s but less than 2% of these chemicals have been tested for toxicity and even fewer for long-term effects. The wide spread pollution of the environment by toxic and persistent organic contaminants, such as PCBs and DDT, has lead to a build up of pollutant chemicals in the tissues of animals (bioaccumulation). These pollutants have been shown to present a threat to both the health of humans and animals.
Many of these chemicals enter the water environment through sinks and toilets having been used to clean in the house or through use on ourselves. Washing powders, washing up liquids, paints, dishwasher tablets, shampoos, deodorants, nail polish, skin care products, fragrances and shaving foams are all typical products containing hazardous chemicals currently causing widespread concern.
In January 2005 the Clean Water Initiative (SAS’s educational trust) published the report “Barriers To Green Buying: Household Chemicals” which was sponsored by the Co-operative Bank and compiled by the Marine and Coastal Policy Research Group at the University of Plymouth.
The full report is available from SAS or at: http://www.sas.org.uk/papers/CWI%20Complete%20Report.pdf
As part of this study we learnt that a large proportion of the public never consider the environmental impacts of using familiar cleaning products or toiletries. In particular over 60% of the public never consider the fate of household products once they enter the drainage system, yet their impact on the environment cannot be understated.
Richard Hardy SAS Campaigns Director says: “The main barriers to buying low impact products are cost, poor information and product performance. Today SAS, the Co-op and Ecover are giving you an opportunity to break down some of these barriers with a free sample of an effective low impact product and information on why we need to move to such products if we are to protect the water environment and public health in the future. We hope today’s action coupled with a special emphasis on the country today to buy green will see the start of a new wave of consumers putting the environment first and buying greener, safer alternative everyday household cleaning products”.