14 October 2020

Unblocktober: Save our Sewers and Seas

Read Time: 4 mins

“One flush and it’s gone”. “Down the drain”. “Out of sight and out of mind”. Attitudes such as these were commonplace for the longest time when it came to our kitchen and bathroom wastage. Tampons, cotton buds and cigarette ends were some of the most common culprits that contributed to the blocking of drains and sewage systems throughout the UK.

However, it was only as recently as 2018 that the phenomenon of fatbergs floated into the general public’s conscience through widespread media coverage. The newly-positioned prominence of fatbergs (such as this 64-metre long example) disgusted and fascinated the British public in equal measure and pulled focus on the need to treat our sewer systems, and therefore our seas, with the utmost care. And that’s where Unblocktober comes in.


As supported by British Waters and The Rivers Trust, Unblocktober 2019 saw more than 5000 members of the British public pledge to rethink what they throw away from their kitchens and bathrooms. This year, the aim is to reach even more people and raise the level of awareness and action even further. But what are the benefits of rethinking our waste habits?

Reassessing how we dispose of our kitchen and bathroom waste would have a knock-on effect and result in fewer occurrences of foul waste flooding, pollution and even roadworks (due to excavation and the repair of blocked sewer pipes).

Plastic Facts and Figures

The Unblocktober website features some frankly shocking facts and figures which are enough to make even the most enthusiastic environmentalist think twice before going for the full flush. 48% is the percentage of British households who send cooking fats and oils down the drain, whilst the number of used cotton buds which go around the u-bend tops 180 million.

Perhaps less unsurprisingly are the number of households (48% again) who have flushed wet wipes (biodegradable or otherwise) down the toilet and sadly, the 8 million tonnes of plastic that pollutes our oceans every year. Thankfully, the Unblocktober website also features plenty of easy hints and tips on how you can help to bring these figures (and the fatbergs) down.


The 16 items which are often incorrectly disposed of are listed, alongside a simple request to pledge that none of these items will be flushed or sent down the drain. The list features some items which are surprising, whilst some others are a little more obvious. From cooking sauces to contact lenses, the good news is that all of the items listed are easily disposable in ways that don’t sully our sewers so you are able to make an enormous impact without actually making big changes.

To get involved and find out more, you can sign up to Unblocktober here. You can also follow Unblocktober on social media or use #unblocktober to share your posts and connect with others.


Unblocktober with Clearabee

So, where can Clearabee help with Unblocktober? Through our industry-leading rubbish removals and waste clearances, we are able to achieve an average recycling and landfill diversion rate of over 95%. This means that if you find yourself with a full wheelie bin and you’re still days away from your next collection, our private home wheelie bin collections can dispose of your waste, whilst ensuring that it does not have a detrimental effect on our seas or our sewers.

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That’s not where it ends for Clearabee’s care for the planet, though. Our fleet of vehicles are built on an ultra-light chassis, which not only reduces fuel consumption but also reduces our carbon emissions. Going even further, our reforestation project consists of two UK forests, made up of 19, 674 trees and is estimated to have offset 1, 886 tonnes of C02, making Clearabee a carbon-neutral company. Have a look at this link to learn more about Clearabee’s enviromental credentials.


Removing rubbish (and doing our bit for the planet). It’s what we do.


About Clearabee

Since 2013, Clearabee has operated on-demand rubbish clearance and waste removal services across the nation and now have over 120 vehicles and 300 directly-employed staff. Our industry-leading services include our ‘Man and Van’-style rubbish clearances as well as our skip bag, skip hire and sofa removal services.

We are proud to include some of the UK’s leading brands as our exclusive customers. Clearabee ranked as the fastest-growing waste management company in Europe for three years in a row and also featured on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track for the last two years.

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