We are proud to support Lanes for Drains newly launched ‘Unblocktober’ initiative. Unblocktober is a campaign and awareness month, starting this October, that aims to reduce pollution in both our sewers and oceans. Aging sewer networks across the world are under increasing pressure due to what we rinse down the sink and flush down the toilet.
The Rise in Fatbergs
Aging sewers coupled with items that should never be in sewers leads to fatbergs—and increasingly, ‘monster’ fatbergs. A fatberg is a very large mass of solid waste in a sewage system, consisting of congealed fats, oils, grease and personal hygiene products. Fatbergs reduce the flow of raw sewage which leads to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).
Fatbergs have been making the news at a more frequent pace due to changes in food preferences (i.e. an increase in fried foods) and non-biodegradable wet wipes. When sewers become clogged it leads to environmental pollution in our neighborhoods and waterways along with major damage to homes, businesses and sewer networks.
Key facts from the 2019 Lanes for Drains Drainage-Related Survey
- 77% of respondents say they have heard of fatbergs, up from 61% in 2018 and 47% in 2017.
- Expanding media coverage of the fatberg phenomenon is the main factor in improving awareness levels, with 39% of those polled saying they had heard about fatbergs through national news.
- When asked about the items that contribute to fatbergs, fat, oils and grease (FOG) was the most common answer (65%), followed by wet wipes, sanitary towels and nappies.
- 48% of those polled say they have poured oil and fat down their kitchen sink, which is slightly higher than the 47% who said so in 2017 and 2018, despite the widespread awareness of how harmful this is.
Hidden Plastics Pollution
A secondary issue that arises from sewer overflows is hidden plastics pollution. “Nappies, period care products, cotton buds and many other hygiene items are non-biodegradable because they contain hidden plastics. Putting them in our drains increases the chances of plastic making its way into our rivers and seas – into which approximately 8 million pieces of plastic find their way every day.” (Unblocktober)
Learn More About Unblocktober
Getting involved in Unblocktober is easy! This October start being mindful of what you rinse down the sink and flush down the toilet. Head on over to the official Unblocktober website to see a list of the top 16 items that should never be rinsed or flushed. Once you are there, download their helpful resource packet that is full of information tips and checklists.
Grease Hero in the Kitchen
The Grease Hero is a quick, easy and responsible way to dispose of cooking fats, oils and grease. Keeping FOG out of your home’s plumbing and city sewers is a great first step in helping prevent sewer overflows and environmental pollution.
Join Our Mission to save the environment and properly dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease.