Unblocktober joins campaign months Stoptober and Veganuary to help save sewers and seas

By Becky Bargh | Published: 23-Jul-2019

The marketing push, established by drainage contractor Lanes Group, encourages Brits to stop disposing of kitchen and bathroom products down the sink and toilet

Veganuary, Movember and Stoptober have all become well known campaign months in the British calendar.

But a new movement is poised to launch this year, and it’s helping save sewers and seas.

Dubbed Unblocktober by UK drainage contractor Lanes Group, it challenges Brits to make small changes in order to stop the build up of fatbergs and the amount of plastic waste in seas.

As part of the movement, consumers will commit to not disposing the following items down their sink or toilet:

  • Cooking oil - pre or post cooking
  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Cooking sauces and condiments
  • Food
  • Wet wipes
  • Tampons, applicators and wrappers
  • Sanitary/menstrual pads and towels
  • Nappies
  • Condoms<
  • Cotton buds
  • Contact lenses
  • Bandages and plasters
  • Razor blades
  • Dental floss

Michelle Ringland, Lanes Group’s Head of Marketing, said it works on between 400 and 600 fatberg-related drainage issues every month.

She said: “When fats, oils and grease [...] are poured down the drain, they collect in the sewers and begin to harden into [...] congealed masses that cause serious blockages.”

These, Lanes Group claims, can cause flooding and pollution, as well as public health issues.

Ringland added: “Unblocktober is the awareness month that the environment needs.

“By taking part and changing their kitchen and bathroom habits [...] the British public can help solve two critical problems: the millions of tonnes of plastic being dumped into watercourses and the environmental and structural damage caused by sewer blockages.”

Today, there is an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s seas, according to Greenpeace.

“We have the opportunity to drive real behavioural and environmental change,” said Ringland.

“If we can join together this October as a nation [...] and make the same commitment together, the improvements to the health of the environment [...] will be huge.”

What the environment needs

Beauty brands worldwide have pledged their commitment to ridding single-use plastics and wet wipes from the industry.

The Body Shop announced it would discontinue its single-use face wipes range, while Holland & Barrett is set to ditch the products from its shelves by October.

Meanwhile, L’Occitane, Gillette and Unilever have all partnered with recycling business TerraCycle to ensure their products are effectively recycled or made from recycled plastic.

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