M&S stops selling disposable barbecues in UK stores over fire risk

Retailer removes items from its shops to ‘protect open spaces and reduce the risk of fires’

Marks & Spencer has removed disposable barbecues from sale across all its UK stores to “protect open spaces and reduce the risk of fires”.

Announcing the move on Wednesday, the retailer pointed out that it had already stopped selling the portable grills near national parks and in the capital but was now going a step further.

Marks & Spencer tweeted: “Given the unusually hot and dry conditions, we’ve taken the precautionary step of removing them from sale across the UK.”

It comes after Co-op decided to stop selling disposable barbecues in 130 shops situated in or within a one-mile radius of national parks, in June last year. In March this year, Aldi said it would no longer sell the items in any of its UK supermarkets in an attempt to protect forests and wildlife.

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The London fire brigade (LFB) called for a total ban on disposable barbecues last week after it attended a spate of blazes during the record-breaking heatwave.

It praised the move by M&S as “good news”, tweeting: “We want to work with retailers to stop the sale of disposable barbecues and reduce the risk of dangerous grass fires.”

The LFB has warned that disposable barbecues “pose a significant fire risk if they are not put out properly, causing grass fires in open spaces and scorching the grassed areas”.

The UK is suffering historically low levels of rainfall, particularly in the south-east of England.

The heatwave has caused fruit and vegetables to die on the vine and prompted Southern and South East Water to both announce hosepipe bans.

They are backing a petition to parliament for a complete ban on the sale and use of disposable barbecues in the UK.

London’s fire commissioner, Andy Roe, has added to calls to ban the devices and said “urgent action” must be taken to outlaw the sale of disposable barbecues because of the “untold damage” they cause.


Joe Middleton

The GuardianTramp

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