New fatberg research has been released and it offers a glimpse into public education on the topic. In a national UK survey of 1,216 people, Lanes for Drains, the UK’s largest privately-owned drainage contractor found that 77% of people know what a fatberg is, compared with 61% in 2018 and 47% in 2017, yet 48% of people still admit to pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down drains and sewers. (Lanes for Drains & PBC Today)
What is a Fatberg?
The term ‘fatberg’ was originally coined by Thames Water and references an iceberg of fat. Fatbergs are found in sewers and are made up of a congealed, solid mass of fats, oils and grease (FOG), that have been poured down kitchen sinks, as well as non-biodegradable material that is flushed down the toilet.
Fatbergs offer a glimpse into our modern-day consumer driven society—albeit the darker side of modern life. These oily monsters are growing right beneath our feet and clogging sewers around the world. Recently, it was stated that “Thames Water currently spends around £1 million a month clearing blockages from their drains across the Thames Valley”. (Bucks Free Press) “New York City spends approximately $18.8 million a year to degrease the sewers, deal with damage caused by sewer backups, and repair our plant equipment that has been damaged by non-flushable items (like wet wipes) and transport those items to landfill.” (NYC.gov) Smaller cities are not immune to this problem either. Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has spent half a million dollars a year cleaning grease out of sewers. (National Geographic) Fatbergs are a growing and persistent problem.
FOG Disposal Habits
The research from Lanes for Drains shows that “64% of people consider themselves ‘very aware’ of what should and should not be put down drains and—when asked about the items that contribute to fatbergs – fat, oils and grease (FOG) was the most common answer (65%), followed by wet wipes and sanitary towels.” (WWT)
67% of survey respondents said that laziness was the main barrier to changing behavior when it comes to incorrect disposal of FOG, while 58% said a lack of education was to blame and 51% said convenience is also a factor.
This research from Lanes for Drains shows that awareness is steadily rising around the global issue of fatberg pollution. However, there is still work to be done to help consumers change their disposal methods so that they are not unintentionally adding to the problem.
The FOG Safe Drain Guard
The FOG Safe Drain Guard is a convenient and hassle-free way of disposing of fats, oils and grease after cooking a meal. It is made of recycled materials and quickly absorbs the fats, oils and grease that you pour into it directly from your cooking pan. You then simply dispose of the entire drain guard into your trash. This keeps that harmful FOG contaminants out of your plumbing, city sewers and the environment—thus eliminating your impact on the growing fatberg epidemic. See a FOG Safe Drain Guard in action over on our FOG Safe YouTube channel.
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