Disposable barbecues withdrawn from supermarket shelves over wildfire risk

Lidl becomes latest retailer to halt sales of the barbecues as Met Office issues highest fire warning

All big supermarkets have now stopped selling disposable barbecues in the light of the risk of wildfires across the UK.

Morrisons, Asda and Lidl on Friday joined Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer in temporarily removing the product from sale in all stores as an official drought was declared across large parts of south and east England and the Midlands.

Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Aldi previously announced they would no longer stock disposable barbecues because of the potential detrimental impact they have on the environment and wildlife. The Co-op and Morrisons on Friday moved to a national ban after earlier halting sales close to national parks. Online grocery specialist Ocado has also stopped sales. Iceland stopped short of a total ban, saying it has removed barbecues from sale in high risk areas such as national parks and is reviewing the situation.

Tesco changed its policy from a local ban near areas of outstanding beauty, such as the New Forest, to a UK-wide pause late on Thursday in light of the heatwave and dry conditions. It is understood to be planning to restock disposable barbecues once weather conditions make it safe to do so.

Sainsbury’s said earlier on Thursday it was removing the items from sale as a “precautionary measure” during the hot dry weather and would monitor the situation and listen to feedback from its shoppers.

The retailers acted after the Met Office issued its highest warning under its fire severity index.

A petition on the UK government website calling for a national ban has received more than 20,000 signatures. The Labour party is calling for a complete ban on their sale, while Andy Roe, London’s fire commissioner, said “urgent action” must be taken to outlaw the sale of disposable barbecues because of the “untold damage” they cause.

The barbecues are a fire risk, especially when used on dry ground. Parts of England have had their driest weather for 111 years, creating tinderbox conditions that have led to a string of crop and grass fires.

Disposable barbecues were cited as the cause of several fires, including a serious blaze in Lickey Hills, near Birmingham. There was also a large fire at Morden Hall park in south London caused by an abandoned disposable barbecue that left a large area of the park scorched.

B&Q said it had phased out disposable barbecues last year.


Sarah Butler

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Sainsbury’s and Tesco halt disposable barbecues sales amid wildfire risk
Supermarkets introduce total ban as large swathes of UK suffer from lengthy dry spell

Sarah Butler

11, Aug, 2022 @6:07 PM

Article image
Asda and Morrisons ration fresh produce including tomatoes and peppers
Shortages caused by bad weather in southern Europe will be compounded by big fall in salad production in UK

Sarah Butler and Joanna Partridge

21, Feb, 2023 @3:45 PM

Article image
Business rates holiday extended until end of June in England
Big supermarkets vow to shun £3bn tax break after being criticised for accepting relief in 2020

Zoe Wood

03, Mar, 2021 @7:10 PM

Article image
Waitrose voted UK's best supermarket
Upmarket grocer tops Which? customer satisfaction survey for third successive year while Asda languishes at bottom of table

Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent

16, Feb, 2017 @12:01 AM

Article image
Asda and Morrisons lift buying limits on some fresh fruit and salad items
Retailers remove cap on cucumbers, broccoli and raspberries but rationing remains on tomatoes and peppers

Joanna Partridge

09, Mar, 2023 @3:31 PM

Article image
Tesco and Aldi join Asda and Morrisons in rationing salad ingredients
Weather in Europe cuts imports with limits imposed on UK shoppers for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers

Sarah Butler

22, Feb, 2023 @4:00 PM

Article image
UK supermarket restrictions: what you need to know
The key changes being made to prevent panic buying and help those most in need during the coronavirus crisis

Joanna Partridge

19, Mar, 2020 @4:55 PM

Article image
Asda scraps ‘best before’ dates from many fresh foods to help cut waste
Latest supermarket to reduce labelling says removal from nearly 250 products will also save customers money

Guardian staff and agency

24, Aug, 2022 @11:45 AM

Article image
Asda is named worst supermarket in treatment of suppliers
Watchdog places Walmart-owned chain below Morrisons, as it names Iceland as worst retailer at complying with its code

Sarah Butler

26, Jun, 2017 @5:49 PM

Article image
Retailer shares fall as Asda signals supermarket price wars
Asda owner Walmart says it will prioritise sales volume over profit, causing Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons shares to slide

Sarah Butler and Rob Davies

06, Jul, 2016 @5:10 PM