Businesses and public buildings across Worcestershire have begun installing sanitary bins in men's toilets, thanks to a campaign by a prostate cancer patient.

Ian Smith wrote to organisations to highlight how gents loos lack anywhere to hygienically bin incontinence products. Following radiotherapy and hormone treatment he now suffers from bowel incontinence and wears adult nappies.

Nationally, a "Boys Need Bins" campaign is calling for a change in the law, to make sanitary bins compulsory. Mr Smith, 64, who was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2022, said: "Because of my treatment, I suffered damage to my bowels and rectum and that's made me sometimes bowel incontinent/"

Although he had been having PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests regularly, this precaution was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. By the time his cancer had been identified it had spread to his rectum and is now incurable.

"What I wear is full nappy pants... These are a real issue if you need to get rid of them, which is what the Boys Need Bins campaign is all about," he said.

"Because blokes are what they are, they don't talk about it... and so most venue owners don't know it's a problem". Around one in three men over 65 will experience urinary incontinence issues, while 1 in 20 men aged 60 and over will experience bowel incontinence, according to charity Prostate Cancer UK.

After receiving letters from Mr Smith, 12 organisations - including Worcester City Council and the University of Worcester - have agreed to place sanitary bins in men's toilets. "I thought it was an amazing thing for him to promote," said Kathy Leather, general manager at Worcester's Royal Porcelain Works.

"I'd never really thought about it. And I've done a lot of things for prostate cancer, so why didn't I think of a bin?"

With the backing of charities including Tackle and Prostate Cancer UK, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Bowel and Bladder Incontinence Care, the Boys Need Bins campaign, external hopes to prompt legislation to mandate sanitary disposal bins in all men's toilets. "It's a far bigger an issue than people tend to realise," said Nick Ridgman, head of health information and clinical support at Prostate Cancer UK.

"Hundreds of thousands of men experience incontinence. But what we don't have for these men is the kind of provision that we have in women's toilets". Last summer the minister for women, Maria Caulfield MP, said the government was looking into the issue.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive, said it was currently reviewing regulations and guidance regarding provision of disposal facilities in workplace toilets, to ensure they meet the needs of both women and men.