Aluline celebrates 20 years in Portugal

 In Companies, News, Sustainability

Aluline, an international company that creates environmentally sustainable drainage and fats retention services for the hotels and restaurants sector, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Portugal this year.

As one of the first companies to establish themselves as “grease trap” professionals in the United Kingdom 30 years ago, Aluline went on to establish a branch in Seixal, Portugal, and now they are celebrating 20 years in the Iberian Peninsula. 

The company is operating on a worldwide scale with other offices in the UAE and Ireland, but see fit to take this opportunity to honour its local Portuguese staff who have made the company successful beyond its flagship in Cheshire. 

Aluline has learned a thing or two along their impressive lifespan as grease trap experts, and that knowledge has set them apart from the competition. Aluline uses renewable, environmentally friendly materials like stainless steel coupled with biotechnology to make sure that oil waste disposal is done right the first time— from the initial design specification to the computer aided design (CAD) drawings to the installation monitoring and servicing all makes of grease trap systems.

Caroline Clark, the daughter of the company founder Willie Clark, advised that oil can be reused as fuel (SAF), fertilizers, and more, so why would we wash it down the drain? She said, “There’s a whole host of things now that can be done with used oil once it’s treated to reduce carbon output, but you have to start by using grease traps and taking it all out of the system so it doesn’t damage the environment. We’re removing oil and grease at the source with air-sealed, stainless steel grease traps inside right up where the operators are working. We’re spending a lot of money on innovation and research for the treatments on site so we can expand our operations to cover impurity removal and recycling in the future.”

Removing oil from the source is important when it comes to the bigger picture. Grease and oil in pipes and sewers cause blockages, and furthermore, just one liter of oil can contaminate a 10,000-liter lake. That’s why, in 2004, the regulations EN 18251 and 2 came into European legislation that stated that any hot food premises must have a grease interceptor, a grease separator, or a grease trap system installed. If businesses are being refurbished, they’re on the hook to be compliant, but of course many long-standing restaurants and factories are not up to code.  

Currently, in the UK, there is a hefty £50K fine for any business caught disposing of oil out of code by using grease traps or the like. Soon, Portugal will follow suit, and major corporations, mid-sized franchises, and smaller restaurants need to be ready. That’s why Aluline is leading the way for further innovation, recycling, and transportation in Portugal and beyond. And for a twenty-year-old, that’s quite an extraordinary, yet attainable goal.

Of course, Aluline isn’t alone in their sector. There are many other companies that offer similar services, but none with such intense training, preventative maintenance, and waste prevention standards with bespoke design service, because, as Caroline said, “we are drainage engineers, we’re not salespeople…We’re quite happy to take a look at existing systems if there is something in that is causing issues. We’ll go in and help businesses get it back onto track. And that that’s where our biotechnology comes into it. We’ve got naturally occurring bacteria that we put down into the drains and into the systems and that helps keep it clean. It’s fantastic!”

Finally, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Aluline’s Portuguese operations, the company wants to give back the gift of knowledge to the average consumer, amateur chef, and burgeoning green warrior that made them start the business in the first place. Here are a few things that we, as individuals, can do to make a huge impact on our pipes and the planet from the comfort of our own homes.

  • Dispose of paper towels with antibacterial cleaning spray in the bin. Don’t spray it down the drain, as it will kill off good bacteria that is actually cleaning your pipes.
  • Consider investing in a sink guard for your kitchen. You install it in the sink and instead of a U bend, there’s a built in trap and inside that there’s a stainless steel basket to collect all the food stuff contaminated with oil that’s going down the sink. 
  • Be aware of things like oil from tuna and salad dressings. Wipe the dishes with a paper towel first before you take it to the sink. The oil has to go somewhere— don’t let it be your drain.
  • Use tins to collect oil from frying pans and then empty them out into the trash bin. Never pour oil into the drain after cooking.
  • When buying tinned or canned items, look for the ones stored in water rather than oil. Also, be aware that condiments like mayonnaise contain oil and should not be washed down the sink.