Eight in 10 adults have thrown something they shouldn’t have down the toilet, according to research.
A study of 2,000 adults found 21% have disposed of hair down the loo, while 27% of women have ditched tampons, and 10% of all adults have flushed animal waste.
Cigarette butts, make-up, medicine, and cooking grease are among the other things that have ended up down the drain.
And 12% of adults have also chucked something solid down a drain in the street.
But 56%, of those polled, admitted they had no idea of the impact the items that end up in the drains and sewerage system could have on the environment.
The survey comes ahead of the launch of documentary series, Whale with Steve Backshall, airing on Sky Nature this Sunday.
Poppy Dixon, director of documentaries & factual at Sky UK, said: “While there are many large-scale issues negatively impacting our marine environments – fishing, entanglement, climate change, ship strike, and pollution, to name but a few.
“The findings suggest we may not be aware that everyday actions can also negatively impact our planet.
“The study suggests why it’s so important for scientists and conservationists, such as Steve Backshall, to take audiences on a journey across the world’s oceans, to demonstrate how our actions and the life quality of our marine animals are more closely intertwined than we may think.”
The study also found 17% of those who have put something other than liquid down a drain simply didn’t think it was a problem.
For 15%, if it was small enough to fit down the drain, they assumed it wouldn’t cause an issue further down the line.
Despite this, 67% wish there was more they could do to protect the world’s oceans and marine life.
Two-thirds said they care deeply about ocean animals, and 56% worry about future generations.
More than half (60%) wish they’d known more about how their actions can affect the ocean and marine life years ago – and admit they would have done things differently.
But 48% said that because they don’t see whales or go into the depths of the ocean, it’s harder for them to understand the impact their life choices can have.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker