Train firm puts sanitary bins in men’s lavatories to combat 'taboo' of incontinence

25 June 2024, 15:08

Govia Thameslink Railway has put the bins in almost 500 men's toilets
Govia Thameslink Railway has put the bins in almost 500 men's toilets. Picture: GTR

By Asher McShane

A UK train firm has put sanitary bins in its men’s toilets to reduce anxiety.

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Southern Railway has added bins into 500 men’s cubicles across its network so that men with urinary incontinence can travel with confidence.

It comes after a campaign was launched by Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness of male incontinence.

The move is backed by multiple other charities and an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) of MPs.

Around one in three men over 65 have urinary incontinence issues, while one in 20 men over 60 have a bowel incontinence issue.

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The sanitary bins are for the disposal of incontinence pads and nappies.

Train operator Southern Railway said it was backing the Prostate Cancer UK campaign and had now put bins in 495 men’s lavatory cubicles across 228 stations, offices and depots. Train toilets already have sanitary bins because they are unisex.

The firm said in a statement: “A simple trip to the loo can be a stressful experience due to lack of proper disposal facilities for incontinence products.

“We’re keen to reduce the anxiety experienced by male customers and colleagues with urinary incontinence, and this small but significant step aims to enhance the comfort and dignity of those who may need these facilities.”

Nick Ridgman, head of health information and clinical support at Prostate Cancer UK, said they launched the campaign to combat the "dire lack" of sanitary bins for men.

He said: "There's a paralysing taboo stopping people from speaking up about it.

"A man living with incontinence should be able to travel away from home without having to worry about whether he'll be able to get rid of his used pads."

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