An absolute must in some dishes but if we want to avoid another Fatberg what can we do to reduce, re-use and recycle?
- Not all methods of cooking use oil, try alternatives to frying – grill, bake, steam, poach or slow cook instead
- Measure out how much you use rather than pouring liberally into the pan, some foods release fat when they cook so start by adding a small amount and only add more if you need to
- Use low-fat sprays or oil rather than butter
- Depends on what you’re cooking and how much, but for some dishes you can keep the oil in the pan and cook something else in the same oil (don’t use the same oil to cook meat then make a vegetarian meal though)
- If you have lard or suet you could make fat balls for birds, don’t use cooking oil though as it can coat bird feathers
Find your nearest cooking oil recycling location, if there isn’t one close by you could set one up! The Unblocking the community website has lots of useful information.
- Never put fat down the sink. Pour extra fat in to a solid container e.g. a tin can or glass jar and continue filling it until full, then seal it and put it in with your rubbish. You can freeze it and put it in your bin bag the night before collection to help stop foxes smells it and ripping open bags to find it
- Use kitchen roll to wipe the pan before washing to soak up any that won’t pour out
- Thames Water has 108,000 km of sewers, and spends £12 million a year on clearing blockages or ‘Fatbergs’ from the sewers.
- Fatbergs are made up of fat, cooking oil, sanitary products, wet wipes and other bits of household rubbish that has solidified into a large mass in pipes in our sewer system
- Thames Water clears 40,000 blockages a year caused by these fatbergs.
- West London has some of the highest incidences of sewer blockages.
- Over the past 5 years there has been 13,417 blockages in Harrow, 10,690 in Hillingdon, 9,928 in Hounslow, 8,382 in Ealing, 7,985 in Brent and 5,298 in Richmond. In comparison, the entire county of Oxfordshire has had around 7000 blockages in the same period.
- Almost 300 homes in Richmond were flooded with raw sewage in the past 5 years as a result of ‘fatbergs’
Plastic Free July – How can you get involved?
Three years ago, I took part in a Plastic Free July Challenge in our office. Back then, I decided to avoid disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles for a month, and it was the beginning of a journey. I was always aware of the environmental impact of plastics but learning even more throughout that mont…