Unblocktober, the world’s first awareness month aimed at protecting the UK’s sewers and seas, is launching this week – and it’s not too late for businesses and individual householders to join the thousands who are already involved in this groundbreaking initiative.
Having launched on October 1st, the campaign aims to fight plastic pollution and fatbergs by encouraging people across the country to make small changes to their waste disposal habits in their kitchens and bathrooms for the whole month, helping them establish new routines that will be better for their drains and for the environment as a whole.
Data from Lanes Group plc shows that at present, 48% of British people admit to pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down their drains, with the resulting blockages doing significant damage to the UK’s waterways. Additionally, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year – often in the form of wet wipes, which contain hidden plastic content that makes them unsuitable to flush down the toilet.
Over 1,500 participants – a combination of individuals and organisations – have signed up to tackle these trends. Lanes Group, the creators of Unblocktober, are urging those who are still interested to join these numbers by signing up to take part this week.
The campaign has been backed by the national Love Water initiative, which includes over 40 organisations and is jointly spearheaded by the Environment Agency and Water UK. It is also officially supported by leading industry organisations such as Thames Water, Southern Water, Yorkshire Water, The Future Water Association, The Rivers Trust, United Utilities and many more.
To take part in Unblocktober, participants must ensure they are putting none of the following items down their drains or toilets throughout the month of October:
- Cooking oil – pre or post-cooking
- Cooking sauces and condiments
- Food – even crumbs!
- Anything containing plastic, including:
- Wet wipes
- Tampons, applicators and wrappers
- Sanitary/menstrual pads and towels
- Cotton buds
- Contact lenses
- Bandages and plasters
- Razor blades
- Dental floss
Michelle Ringland from Unblocktober said: “It’s hard not to be aware of the environmental challenges facing the planet at the moment – and yet many remain oblivious to the damage that carelessly flushing non-biodegradable items down the drain can cause.
“In many cases, this is simply due to a lack of education or awareness, which is why we’re so keen for individuals and businesses to get involved with Unblocktober. By making this small commitment to improving your habits for a month, we’re hopeful that participants can lay the foundation for lasting change that will make a big difference to the environment.
“By getting as many people as possible signed up to take part in Unblocktober from October 1st onwards, we’ll be able to show that Britain is serious about protecting our sewers and seas for generations to come.”