Joining forces to fight the festive fat

Christmas Dwaine


A North East water company is teaming up with supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Waitrose to encourage customers not to cause pains in the drain this Christmas.

Each year, thousands of sewer blockages are caused by people pouring cooking fat, oil and grease, down their kitchen sinks. These blockages can lead to flooding inside homes and businesses and are expensive to clear - money that could be saved on customers’ bills.

Northumbrian Water, whose quirky character Dwaine Pipe is the mascot of the water company′s Love Your Drain campaign, is now working with the two supermarkets to give away free fat traps and fat funnels to people pre-ordering their turkey or roast from Waitrose, or Sainsbury’s this Christmas.

The traps and funnels can be used to collect waste fat, oil and grease for recycling or disposal via the bin.

Mike Madine, Sewerage and New Development Manager from Northumbrian Water, said: “Christmas is a great time for festive meals with family and friends, but all that cooking produces fats and oils that can block your drains.

“Our own Love Your Drain campaign highlights how easy it can be to avoid a blocked sewer by being careful what we put down the sink or loo, so we are delighted to be part of this initiative and work together with other businesses to help reduce the number of sewer blockages.”

Northumbrian Water is working with other water companies across the UK in this joint initiative.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability for Sainsbury’s, commented: “We’re proud to be distributing over 130,000 fat traps and funnels nationwide this year. As well as keeping Britain’s waste water network flowing, the cooking oil and fat captured from your roast this Christmas could be turned into bio-fuel to power vehicles.’

Quentin Clark, Waitrose’s Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing, added: “Fat in the sewers is a big problem, particularly at this time of year. Here at Waitrose, we are committed to supporting local communities and helping to reduce this problem across the country.

“By encouraging our customers to use our free fat-traps, we can dramatically cut the percentage of damage caused to drains by fat, oil and grease”

Free fat traps will be available, while stocks last, at participating Waitrose stores. Sainsbury’s will be sending out 130,000 fat traps and funnels with online deliveries. Terms and conditions apply.

Further information on disposing of fat, oil and grease safely is available via

To find out more about the campaign visit or follow it on twitter at #stopdrainpain.

You can find more top tips from our Love Your Drain campaign by visiting and by following Dwaine Pipe on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information please contact:

Northumbrian Water, Janine Scott, 0191 301 6713
Business in the Community Vicky Gashe, 020 7566 8794

About Northumbrian Water

NWG contains the following companies and divisions:
Northumbrian Water provides water and sewerage services in the north east of England and water services in the south east under the brand name Essex & Suffolk Water. It serves 2.6 million people in the north with water and sewerage services and 1.8 million people in the south with water services.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community is a business-led charity committed to creating a fairer society and more sustainable future.

We campaign to shape a new contract between business and society. Driven by a unique collaboration of business leaders, we stimulate action by challenging and supporting thousands of businesses - through our local, national and international campaigns.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is president.

The Christmas Festive Fat campaign is an initiative of Business in the Community’s Water Taskforce, piloted in 2013 by Thames Water and Waitrose. This Christmas, BITC is working with Water UK, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose to help to scale up pilot project across the UK. More information on the work of the Water Taskforce is available here:

Business in the Community’s Water Taskforce members are:
Anglian Water Dwy Cymru, Welsh Water MWH United Utilities, The Carbon Trust, EDF Energy, Nestle, Yorkshire Water, Costain, The Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water, Dairy Crest, Marshalls, Sainsbury’s, Defra, The Met Office, Thames Water.

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