How Cooking Fats, Oils and Grease Damage the Environment

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Cooking fats, oils and grease damage the environment when not disposed of properly.

As fatbergs continue to make headlines, it’s clear that many people do not know how damaging cooking fats, oils and grease are to the environment. These cooking leftovers can wreak havoc on local eco-systems when they spill into the environment through sewer overflows. Before you rinse that pan of bacon grease down the kitchen sink drain here are three things to consider.

Life-Threatening Illnesses

From the EPA: Raw sewage contains disease-causing pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, worms, and protozoa. Diseases resulting from enteric pathogens range from stomach flu and upper respiratory infections to potentially life-threatening illnesses such as cholera, dysentery, Hepatitis B, and cryptosporidiosis.

When sewer overflows contaminate public places and waters, people can be put at risk of exposure to the untreated sewage when: Drinking from a contaminated community water supply, eating contaminated fish or shellfish and swimming in contaminated open water.

Damaging Long-Term Effects

The EPA states that: Animal fats and vegetable oils are regulated under 40 CFR 112, which has identical requirements for petroleum and non-petroleum oils. Petroleum oils, vegetable oils, and animal fats share common physical properties and produce similar environmental effects. Like petroleum oils, vegetable oils and animal fats and their constituents can:

  • Cause devastating physical effects, such as coating animals and plants with oil and suffocating them by oxygen depletion;
  • Be toxic and form toxic products;
  • Destroy future and existing food supplies, breeding animals, and habitats;
  • Produce rancid odors;
  • Foul shorelines, clog water treatment plants, and catch fire when ignition sources are present; and
  • Form products that linger in the environment for many years.

Toxic for Humans and Wildlife

Contaminants in the environment can look and smell pretty bad, but their impact goes beyond just aesthetics. Some pollutants resist breakdown and accumulate in the food chain. These pollutants can be consumed or absorbed by fish and wildlife, which in turn may be eaten by us. Chemicals can also get into sediments, impacting large coastal areas, threatening human health, and reducing the economic well-being of regions that depend on a healthy coastal environment (NOAA).

Now imagine a neighborhood full of people all rinsing a pan of grease down the sink, that grease coats the sewer restricting water flow, forms a fatberg and then sends sewage into the environment through an overflow. While cooking fats, oils and grease seem harmless enough when you are cooking, improper disposal of them can have lasting negative effects.

The Grease Hero

The Grease Hero is a convenient and hassle-free way of disposing of cooking fats, oils and grease after cooking a meal. The drain guard is made of recycled materials and quickly absorbs the fats, oils and grease that you pour into it directly from your cooking pan. You then simply dispose of the entire Grease Hero drain guard into your trash. This keeps that harmful cooking oil and grease contaminants out of your plumbing, city sewers and the environment.


Join Our Mission to save the environment and properly dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease.

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