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A trap is used in all new plumbing installations for sinks, toilets, and similar plumbing devices. It creates a reservoir of water (called a water seal) after use that prevents the backflow of gases from the drainage system back up through the plug, until the water dries out.
It can also trap heavy objects that fall down it by accident (such as jewellery), although it can also catch other things over time, like hair, sand, and other such debris. This will eventually cause a blockage if a large item is obstructed on top of other debris.