From kitchen to coast - don’t cause a stink down your festive sink!

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 18 December 2017

Sewers clogged up with fat stops waste water reaching treatment works and can ultimately result in untreated sewage ending up on our beaches and in the sea.

Making sure that fats and oils stay out of your dishwater, and away from your sink, may seem like a strange ask from a marine charity, but if everybody made that small change it could make a big difference to our seas and beaches.

Rachel Wyatt,
MCS Water Quality Programme Manager

With millions of households, restaurants and eateries serving up a fabulous festive roast on Christmas Day, our advice is simple - don’t pour leftover cooking fats and oils down the sink.

Fats, oils and grease – FOGs for short - can cause major problems in pipes, drains and sewers. This waste congeals to form blockages which can lead to flooding in homes and pollution in our seas. Worse still, any flushed wet wipes team up with fats, oils and greases to make fatbergs, some as big as a double-decker bus!

“Making sure that fats and oils stay out of your dishwater, and away from your sink, may seem like a strange ask from a marine charity, but if everybody made that small change it could make a big difference to our seas and beaches.

“Blocked pipes increase the risk of sewers overflowing during heaving rainfall, allowing untreated sewage to spill into rivers and seas – bad news for the environment, wildlife and anybody who wants to enjoy a dip at the beach,” says Rachel Wyatt, MCS Water Quality Programme Manager.

So, along with other organisations working to improve bathing water quality through the #Binit4beaches campaign, like Keep Britain Tidy, the Environment Agency and water companies, MCS is highlighting this potential Christmas crisis with a brilliant downloadable graphic which can be displayed in the home or the workplace to remind people to get rid of leftover FOGs in the right way.

‘Don’t cause a stink – be nice to your sink’ is one of a series of sharable graphics that’s part of the MCS ‘Know Your Poos and Don’ts’ campaign which has been created by the Daughter creative agency, working with MCS.

Six graphics remind people how the things they do in their daily lives – miles from the sea – can have a major impact on the quality of the UK’s bathing water.

**How to get rid of FOGs safely - **

*Pour into a heat resistant container then recycle or bin once cooled.

*Wipe out greasy pans with kitchen roll before washing.

*Catch greasy food scraps in a sink strainer to make sure they don’t go down the plughole.

To make sure you ‘Know Your Poos and Don’ts’, follow the link below and download the image either to print out or to share on your social media networks. www.mcsuk.org/clean-seas/know-your-poos-and-donts

Actions you can take


Did you know?…

To date, our beach cleans have removed 6 million pieces of litter

On UK beaches levels of litter have doubled in the past 20 years

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is thought to be 6 times the size of the UK