Up the pipe - engaging communities to reduce contaminants in biowaste

Up the pipe screengrab

Every day we use dozens of household cleaning products and personal care products. These get flushed down the drain and into our wastewater systems or septic tanks, but what happens to them when they're out in our environment?

ESR is a partner in the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research (CIBR) (external link) - a group of science and research organisations in New Zealand who are dedicated to finding sustainable reuse options for New Zealand's biowaste.

Consumers play a critical role in reducing contaminants in biowaste, so CIBR researchers work in close partnership with communities and have developed learning resources for schools to support behaviour change in the use of household cleaning and personal care products. 

For this 'Up the Pipe' learning resource kit, students take on the role of investigators – critically reflecting upon how they and their families use household products. A popular component of the project is teaching students to make their own environmentally friendly personal care products using simple household ingredients. CIBR staff are also developing interactive classroom activities for younger children, with the help of experienced education professionals.

For more information about the Up the Pipe project and to access the leanring resources available, visit the CIBR website (external link) .

Watch a video about what goes down your household drain