Campaign urges people to think before they pour fats, oils and grease down the sink

6,000 blockages have been recorded so far this year

Christmas turkey

Clean Coasts and Irish Water have launched their 'Think Before You Pour' Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the damage caused by pouring fats, oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink.

Fats, oils and greases (FOGs) may seem like liquid when poured but once they reach the pipes they cool and can cause blockages in the sewer pipes in homes, businesses, the public sewer network, wastewater treatment plants and ultimately damage the environment. When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form.

There have been more than 6,000 sewer blockages in the public sewer network so far this year caused by FOGs being poured down the sink and wipes and other inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet.

Speaking about the campaign, Anthony Skeffington from Irish Water said: "The size and scale of the task of keeping the sewer network flowing is substantial. So far this year, we have cleared more than 6,000 blockages from the sewer network across the country and many of these were avoidable. That’s why raising awareness of the issue through this Christmas campaign is so important.

"Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public that small changes in our kitchens can help. We’re asking the public to ‘think before you pour’ fats, oils and greases down the sink. It only takes an extra couple of seconds to safely dispose of products like fat by putting them in the bin.”

Speaking about the campaign, Clean Coasts, Sinead McCoy said: “Clean Coasts are excited to launch the Think Before You Pour animation for the festive season. Fats, oils and grease can cause blockage in the wastewater treatment system that allow untreated water to impact our precious marine environment. Think Before You Pour is a simple campaign to tackle the issue fats, oil and grease cause when they are poured down the drain. This Christmas remember to Think, and instead of pouring fat from your turkey down the sink, pour your fats, oil and grease into a container, allow to cool, and throw them in the bin.”

Gunkpot Give Away

Keeping a container in the kitchen, such as the reusable silicone ‘GunkPot’, can be useful to collect cooled waste fats, oils and greases. When these items have hardened they can be disposed of in the bin. Running a hot water tap and using washing up liquid is not the solution as grease and hot water eventually cool down in pipes and can cause blockages in homes, businesses and the sewer network.

As part of the Think Before You Pour Christmas campaign, we are offering a free GunkPot to the first 250 people who apply before Wednesday, December 19. To get your GunkPot before Christmas Day, go to thinkbeforeyoupour follow the link on the page and fill in your details. #thinkb4upour

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