Unblocktober: Protecting Our Rivers, One Flush at a Time!

Collective, small actions have an incredible ability to create monumental change. Take part in Unblocktober’ and help protect our rivers. 

Matthew Woodard


At The Rivers Trust, we believe in the incredible power of collective small actions to create monumental change. That's why we're reaching out to everyone to lend their support to Unblocktober, a mission vital to the health and vitality of our rivers and water ecosystems.

This month-long campaign encourages us to pause and think before we flush, making it simple to adopt habits that prevent everyday household items from obstructing our sewers and polluting our precious waterways.

Unblocktober is all about taking small steps that, when united, make an enormous difference. It's a timely reminder that only the ‘3 Ps’ should find their way into our toilets – pee, poo, and paper.

By avoiding the disposal of items like wet wipes, cotton buds, condoms, nappies, contact lenses, masks, razor blades, sanitary products, plasters, and fats like oils, butter, or cooking sauces down our drains, we can have a positive impact on river health. This not only prevents sewage from backing up into our homes and streets but also safeguards our waterways.

Our rivers are the lifeblood of our communities. They offer clean drinking water, recreational spaces, and critical wildlife habitats. Unfortunately, these vital ecosystems are under constant threat due to the improper disposal of non-biodegradable materials into our drainage systems. Unblocktober is a unique opportunity for us all to come together and protect these invaluable natural resources. Our hope is that the good habits cultivated during this month will extend far beyond October, bringing about lasting change throughout the year.

Unblocktober requires minimal effort and costs nothing to participate in, yet the impact is immeasurable. By making simple changes in our daily routines, we can collectively prevent thousands of non-biodegradable items from entering our rivers and harming the environment.

One of the chief culprits behind sewer blockages and the creation of fatbergs, which are a menace to our water systems, is the humble wet wipe. Shockingly, millions of wet wipes are flushed down toilets each year, and unlike toilet paper, they don't break down. This leads to clogs in sewage systems and contributes significantly to waterway litter.

Across the UK, approximately 300,000 sewer blockages occur annually, costing the economy a staggering £100 million. These blockages result in thousands of properties suffering sewer flooding, leading to despair for homeowners and businesses, along with high cleanup costs and increased insurance expenses.

We all have a role to play in protecting our freshwater and marine environments. Unblocktober reminds us that there are simple yet effective ways in our everyday actions that we can demonstrate our care for our rivers. So, join us in this crucial campaign and let's work together to keep our waterways clean, vibrant, and thriving. Together, we can create lasting change for the environment, our communities, and the generations to come. Unite with us and be part of the solution this Unblocktober!

Visit the Unblocktober website to learn more.

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