Toilets can be a convenient place to dispose of a small item of trash, such as a contact lens or a piece of floss. But according to a report by Time, most of the things people flush should not be disposed of through the porcelain throne. And experts are saying it is contributing to the pollution problem.
The small pieces of plastic from contact lenses, in particular, are thought to be causing an increase in microplastic pollution, tiny pieces of plastic materials that can impact the health of ocean wildlife. Disposing of medications down the toilet or drain has led to pharmaceuticals being found in our drinking water. The consequences of such second-hand consumption are not yet known.
And there's the matter of financial waste as well. Flushing tampons, diapers, large wipes and other items too large to properly clear the drain leads to billions of dollars every year being spent on maintenance and repairs. Talk about flushing your money down the toilet!
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to discern what is and isn't flushable. Some products, such as large wet wipes, claim to be safe to send down the drain but in reality, they are hazardous for the environment, containing rayon or viscose.