Commercial vehicle deliveries have played a vital role during the coronavirus crisis in keeping essential services functioning but the shutdown of other facilities has had an unwelcome knock-on affect for drivers and the environment.

According to waste management company Business Waste, the closure of public toilets during the lockdown has led to a sharp increase in what it describes as “fly peeing”, with reports of people using local beauty spots as toilets and a rise in the number of bottles of urine found dumped at the roadside.

Business Waste claims it has heard from drivers delivering essential items up and down the country during the lockdown who have admitted they have resorted to using plastic bottles as a substitute toilet due to the lack of open facilities or through being afraid to stop at services because of the risk of catching Covid-19.

The gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions has exacerbated the problem, according to Waste Management.

A spokesman for the company said: “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.”

He added: “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.”