Unblocktober – the fight against F.O.G.s (part 2)

5 tips to reduce F.O.G.s (fats, oils, greases) at home and in your community. + 3 extras

For kid friendly activity scroll to the bottom of the page

  1. DO scrape food scraps into the trash or compost. If and when it is not possible you can pour cooled oil or grease into a container; then seal and discard with your regular trash or recycle it. If it is too hot pour it into a heatproof dish, leave it to cool then scrape it.
  2. DO wipe off oil and grease from pots, pans, dishes before washing them up in the sink.
  3. DO use washable/reusable wipes instead of single use. If single use wipes are required then dispose of these in the general waste, please do NOT flush down the toilets and drains.
  4. DO put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps; then empty contents into the trash or compost.
  5. DO reuse oil up to two times, but only if it has NOT been heated past its smoking point, NOT changed colour or oil that looks cloudy. You can do so by using a skimmer to skim off any floaters and large pieces of debris that might be lurking in the pot and bin them.

TOP TIP: Increase the life-span of your cooking-oil by using a thermometer. Overheating oil will get it to break down into unusable form.

Low-waste tip: stain used cooking oil through a coffee filter use again even 2 times. After straining, store the oil in a jar in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Cooking oil takes on the flavour of the food you’ve cooked in it, so if you’ve already used it to fry some garlic veggies then reuse it when you’re cooking a dish with similar flavours!

Fun Tip
You can create your own bird feeder using the suet/lard leftover from cooking things like sausages/bacon.
All you need is a handful of bird seed and peanuts and/or sunflower seeds (unsalted), some raisins or graded cheese, dry leftovers of oats, bread or cake. One you mixed these ingredients in a mixing bowl, you can either cover a pine cone with it (make sure you attach a piece of string to cone before doing so) or you can just form balls by hand.

If your suet is too solid you can melt it in a saucepan before mixing it with the dry ingredients. BE SURE to let it cool down before touching it!

If you find that you have more suet-seed mix than you need, pour that into a freezer-safe container and keep it frozen so you can use it in the future.

Image result for fat bird feeder recipe

Unblocktober – the fight against F.O.G.s (part I.)

Fat, oil and grease in liquid form may not appear to be harmful, but as it cools it congeals and hardens. It sticks to the inner lining of drainage pipes and restricts the wastewater flow causing the pipes to block. Using detergents or bleach may appear to help but this is only temporary as the mixture soon turns back to thick or solid fat.

As F.O.G clogs pipes, the bits of rotting food trapped in the F.O.G form hydrogen sulfide. The hydrogen sulfide combines with water to form sulfuric acid, which eats the pipes.

The clogs caused by F.O.G can also cause sanitary sewer overflows, which expose people to raw sewage—a serious health hazard—and are expensive to clean up. Nonetheless, there is an increased possibility that raw sewage will eventually enter the sea.

“370,000 sewer blockages every year, 80% of which are caused by F.O.G.”

British Water

Problems locally

Egerton Park
source: Environment Agency

It is all connected. The picture above was taken of the lake in Egerton Park right by Wickham Avenue. Which is where the Surface Water Sewer is connected to the lake. The water gets released to the sea at point ‘R’ at the end of bathing season after the summer. Therefore, the surface water sits there for a number of months…

Here is a couple of things you can do to prevent F.O.G.s, and basically anything that is not supposed to be put down the drain, get into our sewage system. Blog post with more detailed solutions can be found in Unblocktober Part 2.

  • Use a container to dispose of any fat or oil used in cooking before putting it in the bin.
  • Wipe dry any pans and plates before putting it in the sink.

Keep dog litter out of the sea

Today, 30th September, is the day that dogs are allowed back on Bexhill beach between the Sovereign Light Cafe and the Sailing Club since the 1st of May.

Although dogs are restricted on some beaches, there are miles more that welcome responsible dog owners. When it comes to dog mess, bag it, bin it and enjoy the beach with your four-legged friend.

Dog litter washed down the sea, one way or another, will cause the spread of bacteria. In some extreme cases, it may cause blindness to humans. This is due to the parasites found in dog poop cause zoonoses, diseases or infections of animals that can be passed to humans. Water washed into the sea from inland containing dog poo residues, will contribute towards the increase of the sea’s bacterial levels, therefore, worsening the bathing water quality.

The Water Quality is currently rated Sufficient. Ratings can be found on the Environment Agency website.

The organic solids in dog feces consist of: 25–54% bacterial biomass and is understood to have dangerous levels of E-coli, salmonella and parasites. To prevent this bacteria contaminating the sea, it is better tucked away in a biodegradable bag and disposed of at a Dog Litter Bin.

The Environment Agency produces data on the E. coli and Enterococci content level of the bathing water in Bexhill. As seen on the graph, there has been an increase in cases of both faecal indicator bacteria, especially during the bathing season.

Environment Agency – Water Quality Data

Keep Britain Tidy had launched a campaign in 2014 called ‘We’re Watching you’. It’s aim to reduce dog fouling in public area and it has been introduced in several locations in the Rother District. The campaign has proven to be successful as there has been a known reduction in dog litter. However, according to the graphs above, there is still room for improvement. In the hours of darkness, dog walkers still feel like they are not seen and are more likely to leave the dog litter on the streets and beaches. Hence, there is often an increase in the levels of dog mess during winter and the days being shorter.

As a dog owner, you have a responsibility of cleaning up after your pet. If the owner fails to comply, they will face a fixed penalty notice of £100. Rother District Council states: “A person is not exempt from the responsibility of removing dog faeces in the event he/she is unaware of the defecation of their dog or not having a poo bag on hand suitable to clean up.”

You can find more information through your local council.

Rother District Council – Dog Fouling

Hastings District Council – Dog Fouling

the WINNER is…

After receiving 63 design entries over the last few weeks, we are pleased to announce the two winners. It is safe to say, our job was not easy choosing the winner. This is because all of the little artist did an amazing job at our design stations.

The BEST Mug Design was chosen out of 32 designs.

The winning mug design. Mermaid – ‘Clean Me’

The BEST T-shirt Design was chosen out of 31 designs.

The winning T-shirt design (sticking with the Seafood and Wine(!!!) Festival theme)

If one of the winning designs is yours do not hesitate to contact us as these designs will be made into real products.
On Facebook
By e-mail: betty.toth@rva.uk.com
By telephone: 01424 217259

We are looking for Ambassadors!

Are you someone whose involvement in the community is outstanding? Someone who does voluntary beach clean ups? Someone who is passionate about getting the message out there about the current environmental issues and is keen to make a change? If any of the above applies to you or you know someone, we would love to hear from you!

Youth Ambassadors

Anyone who is 18 or under and is passionate about our local environment, has clean up the area they live, or promoted environmental issues somehow.

Clean Up Ambassadors

Anyone who is passionate about or enjoys spending some time litter picking in their free time.

Businesses with ethical practices

Any business in the local community that has been adopting environmentally ethical practices. We would like to give a shout out to business who have gone out if their way to be behave in a more environmentally conscious way with attention to the cleanliness of our seas.

We would also love to recruit volunteers.

Beach School Ambassadors

We are looking for volunteers who would be interested in working with children in our beach school sessions.

This might include: setting up sessions, running an activity, planning an activity, risk assessments.

Events / Advocates Ambassador

The Clean Seas Please team could use a helping hand at events. Role would include, for example: setting up and packing away, supporting our stall and speaking to the public about our core messages and issues surrounding the bathing water quality locally.

Promotional Ambassador

There is much more to a project than reports or attending events. In the digital world, where everyone receives information online, we need to keep up as well. Therefore, online and social media presence is just as important.

Can you help us: edit our social media pages, write blog entries, or sharing the word about what we do in the area?

We can provide free food hygiene level 2 training (relevant to beach schools), risk assessment training, and first aid training to all our volunteers. We believe these would be some great skills to put on your CV.

Contact us for more details on our Facebook page or alternatively by e-mail: lindsay.white@rva.uk.com

T-shirt and mug design competition

After a very successful weekend at the Bexhill Festival of the Sea, Clean Seas Please had received 24 entries to the T-shirt and Mug design competition. However, by the end of the competition we had 53 design to choose from.

Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on the 18th of September. The winning designs will be produced into a T-shirt and Mug.

You could find us at the Seafood and Wine Festival in Hastings on the 14th and 15th of September 2019, where we had our design station set up. It was completely free entry!

On the occasion your art is already submitted and uploaded on either our Facebook page or our website, do give it like or share it on your page. 🔻 Keep scrolling for all the arts submitted. 🔻

Alternatively, if you are unable to come and see us in person, we have created a printable template of both items. We accept entries as picture or a scanned document on our Facebook, by e-mail: betty.toth@rva.uk.com or to our postal address: 47 London Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, TN39 3JY.

You can access the T-shirt printable by clicking here and for the mug printable just click here.

Clean Seas Please stall and design station at the Bexhill Festival of the Sea
Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival
Design station at the Seafood and Wine Festival in Hastings


The solar powered vacuum to clean ocean plastic

The SeaVax project began in 2015 under Bluebird Marine Systems with the aim of removing plastic from rivers and seas. The project is developing new technology to aid ocean conservation battle climate change. Since its launch, SeaVax has put a plethora of research into developing low carbon alternatives for waterborne transportation which they have used to design a zero-carbon vessel powered by wind and solar energy. A proof of concept 1/20thscale model was exhibited close to the start of the project. 

In 2017 SeaVax was taken over bythe Cleaner Ocean Foundation (a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation with charitable attributes based in Hailsham, East Sussex). The organisation has chosen not to raise funds selling SeaVax commercially. Despite the Climate Emergency, there has still been a struggle to secure funding to build something as big as SeaVax. This lack of support for the project has had a significant effect on the development of the full-size model. 

There is still hope for SeaVax as a developing system to transport people and goods via zero-carbon vessels. The Climate Change Challenge project, working in association with the Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd. has received funding to create the ‘Climate Challenger’ – a zero-carbon long-range cruiser. Since the same wind and solar system operating system would be used for both vessels, there may be some hope for EU funding. This has been potentially hindered by the political vulnerability of the UK at the end of 2019, but the SeaVax team remain hopeful. 

Alongside building a zero-carbon machinery, the project supports changes in G20policy made by leaders in Hamburg in 2017. There is currently a lack of policing when it comes to dumping plastic waste in international waters. 

Thanks to G20, now there is a limit on single use plastic on land. This will have a positive long-term impact on the environment as it will reduce the rate at which plastic is dumped. Unfortunately, it will not reduce the levels of plastic already present in our oceans. It is vital to not only to fund further research but to support in policy towards ocean cleaning projects. 

Congratulations to all the volunteers that have gotten SeaVax to where it is today and will continue to push the project forward.

Campaign 2017 – Clearer Labeling on Wipes

Have you spoken to the Clean Seas Please team this year about “flushable” wipes? It’s been the hot topic of this year’s events.

In 2016 we supported the campaign to ban the microbead; which has been confirmed by the Environment Secretary, Mr Grove, that legislation will be introduced this year to ban their sale and manufacture [read here].

This year we are supporting the Marine Conservation Society’s campaign to remove any misleading or confusing labels such as flushable, biodegradable, dispersible, etc. on wet wipes. This will make it crystal clear that only the 3P’s pee, poo and paper, should ever be flushed down loos.

The problems with  wet wipes, however branded, is that they are simply not meant to be flushed! Wipes generally do not disintegrate, and often have plastic inside (which can even enter in the food chain)!

The Marine Conservation Society has lots of information on the website too WetWipesTurnNasty, including commonly asked questions and how to sign the petition.

Don’t hesitate to have a read or watch the video below.


The Great British Beach Clean! September 2017

Over the weekend of the 15-18th September, as part of the biggest beach and river clean series ever, the Marine Conservation Society (website HERE) have teamed up with Waitrose to support a huge amount of beach cleans all over the country.

The interesting point is that…
for the first time, many of the plastics removed from events will be sorted and recycled, giving them a second life as new products. Rigid plastic and cigarette stubs collected on cleans will be turned into shampoo bottles and advertising boards.”

We LOVE this here at Clean Seas Please!

Get involved in an event near you – find out more by clicking HERE.


Clean Seas Please Team back for another year

Clean Seas Please badges and postcards

The Clean Seas Please Team are back for a 5th year!

We are pleased to announce that the Environment Agency have funded us again this year – our 5th year where we will be focusing on both Hastings and Bexhill.

Our first event – as set by tradition now – will be with the St Leonard’s Festival although this year we are going to be in Kings Road as part of the market rather than on the Lower Promenade.  Do come along and see us – we love to meet old friends and new faces.

Together we have another opportunity to not only make changes that keep our sea bathing water quality at a good standard but to strive for excellent in Hastings and Bexhill.

A good way to keep in touch with what we are doing and where we will be is through our Facebook and twitter pages.  Why not like and follow us?