Irish Water presenting GunkPots to Killarney Tidy Towns Committee members

Raising awareness of the damage caused by pouring FOGs down the drain

With Christmas Day less than a week away, Irish Water and Clean Coasts are reminding the public not to pour fats oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the sink. A recent survey reveals that 85% of people living in Ireland admitted to having done so. The research was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes for the Think Before You Pour campaign, based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults who were interviewed at the beginning of December.

The Think Before You Pour Christmas campaign aims to raise awareness of the damage caused by pouring fats, oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink. 

Fats, oils and greases (FOGs) 

Fats, oils and greases (FOGs) may seem like liquid when poured but once they reach the pipes they cool and can cause blockages in the sewer pipes in homes, businesses, the public sewer network, wastewater treatment plants and ultimately damage the environment. When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form. There have been more than 6,000 sewer blockages in the public sewer network so far this year caused by FOGs being poured down the sink and wipes and other inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet.

Following the launch of the campaign last week Irish Water offered GunkPots to the first 250 people who registered on our Think Before You Pour page. A GunkPot is a reusable silicone container used to collect cooled cooking fats, oils and grease from roasting trays, pans and plates. Once hardened, the contents can be thrown into the correct bin and the GunkPot wiped clean, ready for reuse. More than 1000 people requested a GunkPot in the first hours of the campaign which was really encouraging. However, a similar container such as an empty egg carton or yogurt pot can also be used to help prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment. 

Speaking about the campaign Annabel FitzGerald from Irish Water said “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the launch of the “Think Before You Pour” campaign. We were inundated with requests for GunkPots in the first hours of the campaign demonstrating the interest the public have in this important issue. Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public to “think before you pour” and use a GunkPot or a similar container to collect FOGs and help to prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment. Never pour fats oils and greases down the kitchen sink.”

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy Clean Coasts said “Clean Coasts are delighted to be working with Irish Water on this important campaign this festive season. Fats, oils and grease can cause blockage in the wastewater treatment system that allow untreated water to impact our precious marine environment. Think Before You Pour helps to tackle the issue fats, oils and greases cause when they are poured down the drain. This Christmas remember to Think, and instead of pouring fat from your turkey down the sink, pour your fats, oil and grease into a container, allow to cool, and throw in the bin…..Simple!”

More Information 

To find out more about the Think Before You Pour campaign visit the Clean Coasts website. For tips and information on how to avoid blocked drains please visit our Think Before You Pour page. #thinkb4upour

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