Unblocktober, the world’s first awareness month aimed at protecting the UK’s sewers and seas has gained support from the Environment Agency as it attempts to fight plastic pollution and fatbergs.
The campaign, which is led by Lanes Group plc, has been backed by the Love Water campaign, which includes over 40 organisations and is jointly led by the Environment Agency and Water UK.
Unblocktober challenges the British public to make small changes to their kitchen and bathroom habits for the whole calendar month of October, to establish new routines that will be much less harmful to the environment.
Over 1,000 people – a combination of individuals and organisations – have so far signed up to take part and commit to not putting any of the following down their sinks or loos:
Cooking oil – pre or post-cooking
Cooking sauces and condiments
Food – even crumbs
Tampons, applicators and wrappers
Sanitary/menstrual pads and towels
Bandages and plasters
Helen Wakeham, Deputy Director of Water Quality at the Environment Agency, said: “Most people agree that water is a precious resource but too often we take it for granted. What we do at home can have a direct effect on the rivers, lakes and beaches we all care about. As part of the Love Water campaign we are urging people to use water wisely, protect water quality and think before pouring cooking oil down the drain or flushing a wet wipe away. By taking these simple steps, we can all play our part to reduce blockages of drains, as well as pollution of our rivers and seas.”
Michelle Ringland from Unblocktober said: “Unblocktober is all about driving behavioural change – which is a key objective shared by all of our partners.
“We know from our own research that the majority of the public (63%) consider themselves to be ‘very aware’ of what should and shouldn’t go down the drain, and yet almost half (48%) of the nation still pour fat and oil down their sinks – so at this point we need to do more than just raise awareness and educate, we need to change habits.
“Unblocktober is the ideal way of encouraging people to make a series of small, achievable changes to their behaviour that will make a big difference to the environment.”