• Kim Bresseleers

Unblocktober - Change your kitchen and bathroom habits to help save the environment

Unblocktober is the world’s first month-long campaign and awareness month to improve the health of our drains, sewers, watercourses and seas.

Why Unblocktober?

We have spent decades of consistently putting items, materials and substances into our drainage systems and sewers that lead to untold damage on the environment around us. Such as flooding, fatbergs, plastic pollution, and the list goes on...

As a result, we need to act decisively and quickly to try to change those bad habits and reverse the impact of our actions on our environment.

Did you know that...

Why is it that fats, oils, grease and food are dangerous, abusive and inconvenient to the sewer system and environment?

When fats, oils, grease and food are poured down the drain, it collects in the sewers and begins to harden into big congealed masses that cause serious blockages. The biggest of these masses are called fatbergs, which can cause wastewater to back up in the sewers and lead to flooding in homes, businesses and pollution in the streets, rivers and watercourses. Not only does this cause an environmental problem, it could cause a public health problem if foul water ends up in our homes and streets.

The problem with plastic and hidden plastic:

Unlike other materials, such as paper, plastic is not biodegradable. That means it will not naturally be broken down by microorganisms. Plastic is a manmade material that consists of many toxins, which have the potential to cause air, water and land pollution - creating problems for plants, wildlife, and humans. It’s important that non-biodegradable materials are disposed of correctly.

Recycling helps us reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill and into the sea. It also enables us to re-use the recycled materials, which also reduces the amount of energy that would be used to create new materials.

There are hidden plastics in lots of everyday products and, because they’re hidden and because people don’t know they’re there, they’re often disposed of incorrectly.

How to change your kitchen and bathroom habits to save the environment?

1. How to avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down your drains?

The following must not go down your drains:

  • Butter

  • Cooking oil

  • Grease from cooking

  • Lard

  • Margarine

  • Sauces containing any of the ingredients above


  • Fat and oil left in pans and trays after cooking should be collected in a container and left to cool and congeal. Once solidified, it should be emptied into the bin.

  • Give plates and pans an extra wipe with kitchen roll before they go into the sink or dishwasher.

  • Alternatively, collected fats, oils and grease can be sent off to an Environment Agency-licensed waste oil collector, who can help to recycle it for use in biodiesel production or incinerate it to produce electricity.

2. How to avoid putting food down your drains?

The following must not go down your drains:

  • Food scraps and crumbs

  • Dressings

  • Dairy products

  • Sauces

  • Icing

  • Batters


  • Make sure you get every bit of food off your plates, bowls, pots and pans into your bin.

  • Use kitchen roll to wipe away any excess food before washing up and put it in the bin too.

3. How to avoid putting hidden plastics down your drain?

The following must not go down your toilets:

  • Wet wipes

  • Period care products

  • Nappies

  • Condoms

  • Cotton buds

  • Contact lenses

  • Bandages and plasters

  • Dental floss


  • Put all of the items above into your bin, rather than flushing them.

  • Use eco-friendly alternatives.

Based on information of Unblocktober.

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