YOUNGSTERS are being asked to teach their parents to pull the plug on bad habits by a puppet show touring the region’s primary schools.

Northumbrian Water’s Love your Drain theatre production has been created to educate youngsters on what should and should not be put down toilets and sinks to keep drains clear.

The water company teamed up with Bishop Auckland-based production company Fame Factory Spotlight to deliver the free, 45-minute show to more than 17,000 four to 11-year-olds throughout the region by May.

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They hope pester power will persuade adults to change their behaviour after spending £1.2 million last year clearing drains and sewers across the North East, half of which were blocked by disposable items.

County Durham is one of the worst areas where 37 per cent of adults admitted in a survey to regularly throwing items such as wipes, cotton buds and nappies down the toilet and pouring cooking oil down the sink instead of using a bin.

Children at Cockfield Primary School, near Bishop Auckland, were among the first to see the show in which Pete the Plumber, played by Dean Keating, teaches Stinkpot, played by Scott Clarkson, how to look after Dwaine Pipe to keep him unblocked.