Roads littered with bottles of urine due to public toilet closures

4 minute read
Roads littered with bottles of urine due to public toilet closures

Published at 11:09am 2nd June 2020.

There's been an outbreak of "fly peeing" due to public toilets being closed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

With loos in pubs and shops also shut, there are reports of people turning local beauty spots into public bathrooms.

There are also increasing numbers of bottles of urine appearing along main UK roads, according to one waste management company.

“Easing of lockdown measures means that people are venturing out for day trips, but unfortunately many councils haven’t reopened their public toilet facilities due to social distancing measures,” said Mark Hall, spokesman for BusinessWaste.co.uk.

“Instead, people are fly-tipping UK roads with bottles of wee – perhaps we ought to rename this environmental crime fly-peeing.”

The imminent reopening of public toilets comes too late for beauty spots around the UK.

One of many reports comes from a care-worker in Somerset who said she has had to battle countless people urinating and defecating in public - with several incidences happening against her garden fence. 

"If the toilets are closed, then desperate people will go wherever want, which unfortunately spoils the area for local residents," said Mark.

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One group that has been a constant on our roads during the lockdown are the delivery drivers who have been delivering essential items up and down the country, but Business Waste has heard from many admitting they have resorted to using plastic bottles as a substitute toilet.

Many truckers are concerned about not being unable to stop due to a lack of open facilities, or being too frightened to stop at services and potentially risk catching Covid-19.

And that's led to the hideous sight of plastic bottles full of wee in laybys up and down the country.

And to be fair, it's not only truck drivers, but regular drivers too.

Trucker Mark said: “I’m old and my bladder isn’t as strong as it once was, but I haven’t been able to stop for a wee because most services have been shut.

“I’ve had to pee in my Lucozade bottle, but it tends to get a bit smelly in the cab, so I’ve thrown a few bottles out of the window.”

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But not all drivers are participating in this behaviour.

Delivery driver Eric said:  “I've got a plastic-free reusable bottle that cost me twenty pounds – I would have to be really desperate to use that for a urinal and throw that kind of money away.

"Just pick your spot and go behind a tree, like normal people."

“Just because the toilets are shut and desperate times are leading to desperate measures, we still need to not be adding to the plastic pollution problem by chucking bottles out of the window," said Mark Hall.

"Some for waste disposal operative's got to go out and pick up all those stinking bottles. 

“Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to biodegrade, so if you’re chucking one out of the car window full of wee it could be sitting there for years."

BusinessWaste.co.uk campaigns for tighter laws to discourage littering, wasteful behaviour, and to encourage greater recycling.

"We're not the police, but we have to remind people that it is illegal to be caught urinating in public, and that if you’re seen in the act you could be done for indecent exposure too," said Mark.

“All I can suggest is what I tell the kids - make sure you’ve been to the toilet before you go out. Or tie a knot in it.”

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