Charities back battle to ban single-use barbecues amid fears they are threat to the environment

  • Keep Britain Tidy called for a national ban on sales of single-use barbecues
  • The Woodland Trust urged campers and day trippers to leave them at home 
  • Retailers including Waitrose and Aldi stopped stocking disposable barbecues

Nature charities joined fire chiefs in calling for a ban on disposable barbecues yesterday, branding them a menace to the environment.

Keep Britain Tidy called for a national ban on sales of single-use barbecues, which can cost as little as £2, while the Woodland Trust urged campers and day trippers to leave them at home.

The London Fire Brigade has already backed a ban after they were implicated in blazes on tinder-dry grasslands around the capital.

The disposable devices are among the main causes of the many grass and open land fires recorded around the UK this summer, harming the environment and putting pressure on stretched emergency services.

Keep Britain Tidy called for a national ban on sales of single-use barbecues, which can cost as little as £2, while the Woodland Trust urged campers and day trippers to leave them at home

Around 4 per cent of serious accidental fires are ‘robustly linked’ to barbecue use, Home Office figures show. Retailers including Waitrose and Aldi have already stopped stocking disposable barbecues.

They can also cause injury as the heat continues for many hours after the devices are put out. Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, revealed her son Sam, then 18, badly burnt his foot five years ago on a throwaway barbecue which had been buried on a sandy beach.

She said: ‘When it comes to litter, there is nothing that gets me angrier than a disposable barbecue abandoned on a beach or in our precious green spaces.

‘Some of the wildfires that we have seen this summer were started by abandoned single-use barbecues.’

The disposable devices are among the main causes of the many grass and open land fires recorded around the UK this summer, harming the environment and putting pressure on stretched emergency services

The cooking devices are ‘environmental disasters’, she added.

The Woodland Trust also urged consumers to stop using disposable barbecues which are banned from its sites. Peter Coles, the charity’s site manager for Surrey and West Kent, said: ‘Our woodlands are precious and protected places, home to many tree, plant and wildlife species.

‘Everything we do is to keep the woodlands and its inhabitants safe. Fires create huge amounts of damage and destruction to sensitive habitats.’

n A petition demanding a ban had last night gathered more than 14,500 signatures. It was started by Toby Tyler, whose son William, nine, needed a skin graft after standing on sand where a barbecue had been. Find it at: www petition.parliament.uk/petitions/618664

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