Unblocktober: The Action Month to Save our Seas (And our Sewers)

Believe it or not, your home plugholes directly impact the oceans. With plastics, grease and oil making their way through drainage systems every day, sometimes we don’t consider where they’re going to. 

Introducing Unblocktober – a national campaign and action month to improve the health of sewers, drains, water courses and seas, and it’s up to you to take part. So, what is it all about? And how can the average homeowner get involved to make a difference?  

What is Unblocktober? 

Unblocktober is a national action month launching in October 2019, and is the first of its kind in the world. 

The idea is simple – for the whole month, British homeowners are invited to make a commitment to not place anything down their drains that contains plastics, chemicals, greases, or food particles. With this pledge acted on throughout the country, Unblocktober is hoping to improve the condition of drains across the UK, and consequently, improve the health of our oceans and watercourses. 

See also our article “10 Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet“.

Clownfish in coral

Why is Unblocktober important? 

With increasing global population, sewer systems are under more strain than ever. Not only is the sheer volume of material travelling through our drains increasing, but the types of materials that we pour down drains is becoming evermore harmful. 

Years of bad habits are coming back to bite us, namely our blasé attitude to pouring chemicals, plastics and cooking oils down our drains on a daily basis. This leads to fatbergs forming in sewer systems, which are large, congealed masses of materials, wipes, grease, oils, and a whole host of other non-biodegradable materials. Fatbergs can result in a sewer system not working as effectively as it could, causing sewer overflows and flooding, and triggering sewage to discharge into watercourses without being treated – causing a huge environmental headache. 

Also, the plastic items that we flush down the toilet are journeying straight into our rivers and seas. A global crisis is on the horizon as our oceans are threatened by plastic waste, whose presence in water bodies causes multiple issues such as death of wildlife, plastic pollution, toxin build-up in food chains, and pollution of our groundwater. 

How can I get involved in Unblocktober? 

Anybody can take part, and it’s easy to do! Simply make a commitment to put none of these substances down your drains for the whole of October: 

  • Anything containing plastic

This includes dental floss, razor blades, wet wipes, bandages, plasters, cotton buds, women’s hygiene products, contact lenses – and anything else that may contain plastic. By placing these in the bin rather than down the drain, you’re helping our oceans to breathe easier. 

  • Oils or fats

When washing up oily pans or buttery bowls from baking, ensure that you’re disposing of it in your bin rather than your drains (waiting for it to cool, first). Use a piece of kitchen towel or wipes to get the worst off your pans, before throwing the tissues in the bin. This will help you do your part in avoiding build-up of fatbergs. 

  • Food particles 

Once you’ve finished eating, thoroughly scrape the remaining contents of your plate into the bin. This includes all the crumbs and any remnants of sauce. Not only will it make washing up much easier, it will also prevent any food particles from running into your drains – and will not contribute to fatberg formation.

Essentially, the advice for Unblocktober is don’t put anything down your drain that isn’t human waste or toilet paper. Simple! To learn more visit the official Unblocktober site

Here at Express Drainage Surveys, we keep drains healthy and functional for customers across London and beyond. If you’re suffering with drainage issues, whether that’s sluggish water, a suspected pest infestation, or a blockage, we can use state-of-the-art cameras to pinpoint what’s really going on. To discuss things further with our friendly team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.