03 Oct 2022

Some simple 'green' advice Christmas dinner cooks

'Think Before You Pour' Christmas campaign aims to raise awareness

Christmas turkey

Yvonne Fleming and Michael Gleeson and Marie Sheehan, Irish Water demonstrate the Irish Water GunkPots as part of the “Think Before You Pour” Christmas campaign

Christmas dinner cooks are being urged to think twice before pouring the turkey fat down the drain on the big day.

Clean Coasts and Irish Water are reminding the public not to pour fats oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the sink as 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 and was 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) 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 thinkbeforeyoupour. 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, 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.”

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