Make a Christmas Commitment and Think Before You Pour to protect the environment 

Starting with a commitment this Christmas, Clean Coasts, in partnership with Irish Water, is appealing to all budding chefs, home cooks and most importantly the washer-uppers around the country to Think Before You Pour any Fats Oils or Greases (FOGs) down the kitchen sink. Collaborating with well-known chefs Lilly Higgins and Kwanghi Chan, the campaign advises the public to allow FOGs to cool and then put in the bin to help prevent pipe blockages and protect the natural and built environment. 

A recent survey* revealed that over the past four years there has been a positive reduction in the number of people regularly pouring damaging items down the sink (50% in 2018 to 34% in 2022). However, this still means that approximately 3 out of 10 people are still pouring FOGs down the kitchen sink.  

Tom Cuddy, Head of Operations, Irish Water said: “This Christmas let’s reduce the number of wastewater blockages backing up into our houses and gardens or spilling into the local environment. We want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin. ‘Think before You Pour’: don’t pour those Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) down the sink, but use a heat proof container to collect them, and put them in the bin once they have cooled. This will help prevent pipe blockages and protect the natural and built environment. 

“Every month Irish Water clears approximately 2,000 blockages from the wastewater network. Survey results this year show that approximately 3 out of 10 people admit to pouring FOGs down the kitchen sink which contributes to these blockages. Let’s work together and keep our pipes free flowing.” 

Fats, oils and greases may seem like liquid when poured, but they cool and harden as they travel along the pipes and can cause blockages in our homes, businesses, the public sewer network and wastewater treatment plants. They can even lead to overflows of sewage in our communities and pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean. When FOGs combine with wipes and other sewage related litter such as hair and dental floss that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form. Irish Water clears hundreds of blockages including fatbergs from the wastewater network every week.   

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, Clean Coasts said: “Clean Coasts is asking everyone to make a Christmas commitment protect our environment by remembering to Think Before You Pour. This allows us all to undertake a small action in the kitchen which will have a huge, positive impact on our wastewater network and environment. I encourage and remind everyone to Think before You Pour this Christmas.