Clean Coasts and Uisce Éireann, an environmental charity programme and a water services company respectively, have teamed up to launch the ‘Think Before You Pour’ initiative this Easter. The programme calls on the Irish public to refrain from pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink and to use empty egg cartons to collect cooled fats, oils and greases before disposing of them into the general waste bin. Pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink can cause blocked sewers across the country, resulting in its team being called out approximately 200 times a week.
Uisce Éireann has warned that fats, oils and greases may seem like liquid when poured down the sink, but they cool and harden as they travel along the pipes and can cause blockages in homes, businesses, the public sewer network and wastewater treatment plans. The water services company said it responded to approximately 10,000 customer notified blockages in 2022. Clean Coasts and Uisce Éireann said that people’s attitudes towards pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink is changing, according to results from their Think Before you Flush/Pour behaviour and attitudes survey of 2022.
The results revealed that 30% of people are regularly pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink compared to 44% in 2018. Clean Coasts said this is a positive improvement, but that there “is still more to be done”. Operations lead at Uisce Éireann, Donal Heaney, said that everyone should support the Think Before You Pour campaign this Easter, and lead by example. He further added that “We want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin and to ‘Think before You Pour’. Let’s work together and keep our pipes free-flowing and environment clean.”
Sinead McCoy, Coastal communities manager at Clean Coasts, said the charity is calling for the public to take “positive environmental actions” to be green. “One simple action that can be done in the home is to collect FOGs (fats, oils and greases) in an egg carton for the bin,” she said.
Pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink can cause significant harm to the environment. The substances can cause blockages in the sewer system, leading to sewage backing up into homes, gardens or spilling into the local environment. The substances can also cause significant damage to marine life, and pollute the waterways.
Clean Coasts and Uisce Éireann’s initiative is a timely reminder for the public to be mindful of their actions and to take responsibility for their waste. The initiative is a positive step towards a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future.