Do you want to help reduce the amount of plastic entering our seas and rivers? Well, it’s easier than you think. Unblocktober is the world’s first month-long national campaign and awareness to improve the health of our drains & watercourses. More than 4,000 individuals and employees have already embraced the month-long challenge. The campaign has been named Unblocktober and aims to spread the word about how small actions from colleagues, families and individuals can make a huge difference to the state of the country’s sewers and seas.
Participants are sent free Unblocktober resource packs for their workplaces and homes, which contain facts and practical tips about how to make small changes that have huge benefits to the world around us.
A survey of more than 1,200 people by Lanes Group plc – the organisation behind Unblocktober – recently found that 77% of people know what a fatberg is, compared with 61% in 2018 and 47% in 2017. However, 48% of Britons still admit to pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drains and sewers.
Why do we have to care?
Britain’s sewer network is under ever-increasing pressure – because of our irresponsible actions over the course of many decades. For too long we have consistently flushed and poured dangerous liquids and items into our drains.
This leads to the creation of fatbergs – enormous masses of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, period care products, cotton buds, condoms, nappies, bandages and much more – which block drains and sewers and cause them to work less effectively than they should.
Nappies, period care products, cotton buds and many of the other items we list below 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!
How to take part
To take part in Unblocktober, participants must ensure they avoid putting any 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