How to be #FlushSmart at the Movie Theater

As the weather cools down, you may be looking for fun activities that keep you inside. For some of you, that place is the movie theater! From cuddling up with the littles one over the latest animated hit, to watching the latest horror movie to get into the spooky spirit, the fun is endless at the theater. Yet, between all the salty treats and supersized sodas, you might find yourself needing the restroom before the best part of the show. The last thing you want is a clogged toilet spoiling the rest of your movie experience.

Avoiding a visit from the Clog Monster during your next flick is easier than it sounds. He loves popcorn and paper straws, so you will want to avoid flushing those down the drain. If you do carry trash into the restroom during intermission, there will always be a trash can in or around the restroom that you can use to dispose of your non-flushable products. If you’re ever unsure, look for the “Do Not Flush” symbol, found on all non-flushable wet wipes. Just remember, if you see the symbol, toss the wipe in the trash, not the toilet!

In the meantime, here’s a quick cheat sheet on common movie theater products not to flush:

  • • Popcorn
  • • Candy and other snacks
  • • Snack packaging
  • • Popcorn holders
  • • Soft drink cups and lids
  • • 3D Glasses
  • • Personal hygiene products
  • • Diapers and baby wipes
  • • Cleaning wipes

Now, you may be asking yourself “Why can’t movie theater restrooms handle a small amount of non-flushable substances, especially given toilets are usually more industrial than the ones we have at home?”

Non-flushable substances, including non-flushable wipes, cause havoc on businesses and wastewater plants, resulting in costly damage to the same wastewater facilities that treat our communities’ drinking water. Whether these non-flushable wipes have been flushed from the movies or our homes, they all end up in the sewage system, causing the same clogs and infrastructure damage to our facilities.

While flushing a stray popcorn down the drain may seem harmless, the culmination of these small items breeds the perfect environment for fatbergs to reign in our infrastructure. Fatbergs are concrete-like masses made of non-flushable products and FOGs (fats, oils, and grease.) That includes the movie theater popcorn butter!

So smart flushers, whether you’re tuning into a TV marathon at home or catching the latest spooky movie in theaters, remember that smart flushing habits are useful anywhere.

The Responsible Flushing Alliance is leading the way with its #FlushSmart consumer education campaign. RFA is dedicated to keeping homes and communities healthy through proper flushing practices. This includes supporting clear and prominent labeling of all items that should not be flushed, including promotion of the “Do Not Flush” symbol on non-flushable wipes.

For more information, go to https://www.flushsmart.org or @flushsmart on Twitter or Facebook.