Donegal cooks and helpers asked 'to think before they pour' this festive season

Much-loved celebrity chef, Neven Maguire, spices up national, annual campaign

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Donegal cooks and helpers asked 'to think before they pour' this festive season

This Christmas, the Think Before You Pour campaign is partnering with Ireland’s much-loved celebrity chef and television personality, Neven Maguire to promote their festive campaign.

Think Before You Pour appeals to the public not to pour fats, oils and greases (FOGs) from the Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink. The Think Before You Pour Christmas campaign is operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water.

FOGs may seem like liquid when poured but they cool as they travel along the pipes and can cause blockages in homes, businesses, the public sewer network and wastewater treatment plants, and can even lead to overflows of sewage that can damage the environment.

When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form. Irish Water clears hundreds of blockages including fatbergs from the wastewater network every week.

Speaking about the campaign, Neven Maguire said: “I’m delighted to be partnering with Clean Coasts and Irish Water on the Think Before You Pour campaign to spread this important message. Whether you’re the cook or the helper in the kitchen this Christmas, you can make a positive impact on the environment directly from your own home. An action as small as disposing of your fats, oils and greases in the bin, rather than pouring them down the sink, can have a hugely positive effect on our environment and wastewater system. Fatbergs start in the kitchen, so let’s all make sure we play our part and never pour FOGs down our sinks.

“My top 3 tips to avoiding festive fatbergs are; to collect all your used cooking oil and fats into a suitable container (or “Gunkpot”) and allow this to solidify before throwing into the bin; always wipe and scrape plates and saucepans before washing and finally use a strainer in your kitchen sink, and empty into a suitable bin.’’

Speaking about the size and scale of the issue Anthony Skeffington, Regional Operations Manager, Irish Water said: “Every month Irish Water clears approximately 2,000 blockages from the wastewater network. Such blockages are caused when FOGs being poured down the kitchen sink combined with inappropriate items such as baby wipes being flushed down the toilet. Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin. ‘Think before You Pour’ and use a GunkPot or a similar container to collect FOGs and help to prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment.”

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy, Clean Coasts said: “The prevention of blockages in our wastewater systems by FOGs is something that everybody can engage in. Think Before You Pour allows everyone to undertake small actions and changes that when combined can make huge impact on the operation of our wastewater systems. I encourage and remind everyone to think before you pour this Christmas.”

As part of the Think Before You Pour Christmas Campaign, Clean Coasts and Irish Water are giving away a free GunkPot, along with Neven’s Perfect Irish Christmas cookbook. To be in with a chance to win, go to: www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org/ think-before-you-pour/ to enter.

To find out more about the Think Before You Pour campaign please visit: www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org/ think-before-you-pour/