What a dump! Why ‘wild toileting’ has become a big pandemic problem

Panorama of a city business district with office buildings and skyscrapers and superimposed data, charts and diagrams related to stock market, currency exchange and global finance. Blue line graphs with numbers and exchange rates, candlestick charts and financial figures fill the image with a glowing light. Sunset light.

The number of people doing their business alfresco has shot up. But what else can you do when nature calls and there aren’t any public loos?

Name: Wild toileting.

Age: Dates back to Homo erectus. Urinating and defecating are part of the human condition – “I shit, therefore I am” (“Coshito, ergo sum”), as Descartes almost said – and were undomesticated until the Mesopotamians invented toilets almost 4,500 years ago.

Appearance: Don’t even think about it.

Is there a lot of it about? According to the Lulworth Estate, which manages Durdle Door and the surrounding coastline in Dorset, far too much. It says it saw a huge increase in “wild toileting” when lockdown was lifted last summer. It is calling on Boris Johnson to make responsible tourism a priority when travel restrictions ease this spring.

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